The Runaway Car

Diane Harrington, of Milwaukie, Oregon, had just lost her job. Money would be very tight for awhile, and she asked God to watch over her in a special way during this difficult time. Diane had some professional papers due to a client, so she went to CopyMax to prepare them, then drove into the city to deliver everything. Pulling into a parking place, she reached into her purse for her wallet, to grab change for the parking meter. There was no wallet in her purse.

Oh, no. Cash was especially important right now. The wallet had been in her purse at CopyMax, she remembered. So, after delivering the documents, Diane drove back to CopyMax, hoping someone had found the wallet and turned it in. "The CopyMax store is on a hillside," Diane explains, "and its parking lot slopes down to a major traffic thoroughfare. There is a bank directly below the store, and many cars are always parked in the mall's lot. I parked close to the door of CopyMax, at the top of the hill."

Diane entered the store, and immediately saw her wallet behind the counter on a table. Relief flooded her, even more strongly when she discovered that her money was still inside. She thanked the store personnel, put her wallet in her purse, and went out to her car. The car was not there.

This was not turning out to be a good day. Refusing to become hysterical (yet), Diane asked other shoppers if anyone had seen the car. "A 1997 Ford Contour, taupe color, parked RIGHT HERE." No one had seen anything. One passerby commented on how easily cars could be hot-wired and stolen today, which did little to stem Diane's rising anxiety. What if the car was trashed, and her insurance didn't cover all of it. She went back into CopyMax and phoned the police to report a stolen vehicle.

While still on the phone, Diane noticed a couple hurrying into the store, their faces wreathed in smiles. "Your car is not stolen," the man called to her. "Come out and see this."

Diane followed them outside. They led her across the parking lot, and on and on. Why were they going so far away? If her car wasn't stolen, then where was it? Suddenly, way in the distance, in the middle of ANOTHER parking lot, Diane caught sight of her car. The couple laughed. "You had to see it to believe it!" The woman pointed out. "Your car rolled down the hill, swerved around the bank and the other cars in the lot, exited at the driveway, rolled through four lanes of traffic, then over an embankment at the Jack-in-the-Box restaurant, hit a little tree and finally ended up in THAT parking lot."

"We saw it happening, and came back here to find the owner," the man added. Diane was stunned. All that traveling, and no collisions? No one injured, no property damaged? Except the tree. She thanked the couple and went inside the Jack-in-the-Box to find the manager and report the damaged tree.

"I'll pay for it," she assured him, thinking of her pinched budget, but he shook his head. "It was a little tree," he pointed out, "and you are safe, and that's all that matters." Customers too had seen the car moving along. "It was incredible," one woman reported to Diane. "Your car rolled peacefully around every obstacle in its way, almost as if someone were driving it!"

By now a police officer had arrived, and was checking the runaway car. Like the others, he shook his head. "I can't see any reason to give you a ticket, Ma'am," he said. "Just be careful."

"I will," she assured him. She would be very careful, and before she turned the car on, she would take a moment to thank God. For truly, He had sent an angel to drive her car through this amazing obstacle course, and had shielded her from both physical and financial harm. If He loved her enough to do this for her, He would surely find her the right job too. She felt a smile coming from her toes, all the way through her spirit, as she turned the key in the ignition.

Copyrighted 2003 by Joan Wester Anderson. For more stories of God's love, check the excerpts on my website:

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