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  • Midnight Stranger - 26
  • It's a God Thing

    It's a God Thing is a collection of 46 real, modern day miracles written by YOU! Here's a sample of one of the stories, and check back in November as we release a whole new batch of stories with It's a God Thing Volume II!

  • Midnight Stranger by Kathleen Kohler

    “You can’t keep going like this, Ben. You’re burning the candle at both ends. Your body is not a machine.” Ben was seventeen, and I—like all mothers trying to change their teenager’s lifestyle with a ten-second lecture—knew what was coming next.

    “Oh, Mom, I’m fine,” he said, his hand waving through the air, brushing aside my concern. “You worry too much,” he added as he headed out the front door for work. I watched him climb into his pickup and barrel down the driveway in a cloud of dust and out onto the rural road that would take him the twenty-two miles into town. Clearly, it was going to take more than a ten-second lecture to make him see sense. So I did what I had done so many times before and offered up the quickest of prayers in the hope that God himself would keep my little boy safe.

    My reactions were no different from other mothers’, and Ben’s attitude was no different from his friends’. They all think they’re invincible at that age, and Ben had the workload to prove it. Besides school, he had started a landscape business two years earlier that kept him busy on weekday afternoons, and when he bought his truck, he took on a weekend job at the movie theater to help pay for the insurance.

    At twelve thirty that night I was still awake, listening for the familiar sound of Ben’s truck pulling up to the house. My husband, Loren, had been concerned, but he had to get some sleep because he had work the next day, so he lay snoring gently beside me. Yet by now, Ben was thirty minutes late. There was no way I was sleeping.

    At one thirty, the noise of someone banging on the front door pulled me bolt upright in bed. I sped out of the bedroom, wondering whether Ben had forgotten his key and why on earth he was so late, when—passing through the living room—I saw an unfamiliar shape waiting on the porch. It was not Ben.

    Anyone who has ever opened the door in the middle of the night to a uniformed police officer knows the speed with which the chill spreads through your body. My throat tightened instantly, my heart started pounding, and my hands shook intensely as I grasped the knob to unlock and open the door.

    The officer asked if I was Ben’s mother.

    “Yes, I’m his mother,” I heard myself say as if watching a movie clip in slow motion. “Is he okay?”

    “Your son’s alive, but he’s been in an accident,” said the patrolman. He didn’t know Ben’s condition, but he assured me that Ben had already arrived at the hospital.

    “From the looks of the tire tracks, he made no attempt to stop,” the officer said.

    Through tears I managed to choke out, “I’m sure he fell asleep.”

    “Well, he’s one lucky boy. If he’d gone off the road fifty feet in either direction, he’d be dead for sure.”

    I knew the location that the officer described. Like so many roads in Washington State, the one that ran from our house to Granite Falls cut through thick forest. Ben had crashed right into a section where the solid wall of 150-foot fir trees that edged both sides of the highway gave way to a short patch of swampland. Was Ben a lucky boy? Luck had nothing to do with it.

    It was only later that we learned what had really happened. As I had guessed, Ben had been exhausted from the long hours he was working, and as he drove the long road home, sleep had taken over. His truck careened off the dark road, down the steep gravel bank, and into the swamp. Several pieces of glass from the windshield had embedded themselves in his skull, and he had a four-inch gash on the right side of his head. When he saw the headlights of a car speed by—without pausing—on the road above, he knew that his only chance of getting help was if he made it out of the car by himself and onto the road.

    The truck lay on the passenger’s side in the swamp. The impact had jammed the door shut, but by lying across the bench seat and kicking hard at the sunroof, Ben was able to break free. He crawled from the vehicle, splashed into the water-filled swamp grass and tall strands of cattails, and—with blood running down his face and soaking into his jacket—clawed his way up the bank and onto the highway.

    Ben had driven the road countless times and knew that the closest help was the unmanned fire station five miles away. He set off, stumbling yet numb from the pain of the impact, and hoped he would reach the station in time.

    After fifteen minutes Ben heard the sound of a car approaching from behind. He turned and saw headlights, which eventually came to a stop on the gravel in front of him. Ben told the driver what had happened, and before going for help, he assessed Ben’s injuries. He helped Ben into his car and drove him to the volunteer firehouse, where he sounded the alarm. And then, as quickly as he had arrived, the stranger left Ben seated on the ground outside the building and drove away.

    Within twenty minutes firefighters arrived at the station, loaded Ben into the aid car, and worked to stop the bleeding. They called ahead to the nearest town, where paramedics waited for them to arrive and then rushed Ben to the closest hospital thirty minutes away, where he could receive the blood transfusion he urgently needed.

    By the time Loren and I walked through the doors of the hospital, into the bare lighting that bounced off the walls, Ben was stretched out on a gurney in the emergency room. From behind the mess of tubes, needles, IVs, doctors, and nurses, he smiled and said, “I’m okay, Mom.”

    Hearing his voice and seeing him alive unlocked great waves of tears from within me. In that moment my shoulders relaxed, and the tension subsided.

    “Someone was watching out for him,” the ER doctor said. “Another fifteen minutes and he would’ve bled to death.”

    Hours later, once the gash on Ben’s head had been stitched up, we were allowed to take him home. For several days we tried to find the man who had driven Ben to the fire station so we could thank him. We asked around the area if anyone knew who had picked our boy up that night, but strangely, in a community of fewer than three hundred people, no one could identify the man.

    We never did discover his identity. Whether he was simply an anonymous stranger or a guardian sent from heaven remains a mystery. All we do know for sure is that both through the location of the accident and the timely arrival of the stranger on the scene, Ben encountered a miraculous rescue that night. And a powerful reminder that Mom always knows best!

    Read more stories in It's a God Thing    Tell your "God Thing" story  
  • If you start looking for God's activity in your life; if you start looking for "God moments;" it'll change the way you think of them. You start understanding that God is active, He's involved and He cares.

    - Don Jacobson, Co-creator of "It's a God Thing"
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