The Handprint

Marie Vincze was driving on a lonely ten-mile stretch of red clay road to drop off her teenage daughter at a wilderness camp. It was hard enough to keep the car on the slippery mud and not end up in a ditch, but her three young boys were bouncing around in the back seat, and the noise was deafening. “Pray,” she heard the word in her heart just as the car slid off the road and came to a stop, its wheels stuck in the clay.

“Oh, no!” Marie opened her door and realized that the mud was almost up to the floorboard. There was no way they were going to get out of here without help.

“I could have panicked, but I decided to have faith instead,” Marie says. She turned to the three boys, now completely silent, and said, “Sing your Sunday School songs---right now!---and don’t stop until I tell you to, no matter what!” Beside her, her daughter rolled her eyes. This girl believed in nothing at the moment, unless she could see and hear it. But right now, Marie had to pray.

“God,” she began, “please remember Psalm 91 and let the angels bear us up. If I ever needed help, it’s now!” The boys continue to sing, and Marie felt peace spreading over all of them, warming their souls. Very slowly the back of her small car lifted. Marie did not ask questions---she gassed the car and somehow drove out of the ditch. The boys cheered.

“Boys, look back and see what an angel looks like!” Marie cried in delight.

“Momma, we can’t see anything,” the oldest told her.

“Well, it’s enough that he is here for us,” Marie pointed out.

“Oh, Momma…” her skeptical daughter started, but Marie interrupted.

“Don’t say anything negative. Just sit there and observe.”

The boys continued to sing, as they traveled on. Marie was still praying. “Lord, I hate to bother you, but there’s a cement road coming up. It goes over a creek, and the embankment is red clay. It drops off on each side, and I’m a little worried….” Fear gripped her for a moment as they approached the trouble spot. “Sing louder, boys!” she told them.

Taking a deep breath, Marie sped down the crossing, gunned the engine, shot up the embankment…and lost control of the car. “We started to tip over the embankment,” she says, “and then I heard a gentle tap on the car, and it moved into the center of the road,” Marie says. “It veered to another drop on the opposite side, and again it was tapped, and it straightened up.”

Again the boys cheered, and Marie gave thanks as she made it across. She wondered how her nonbelieving daughter was handling this wonderful occurrence, but there would be time to talk about it all later.

In just a few minutes, the car pulled safely into the camp parking lot, and Marie sighed with relief and opened her door. The mud, she noticed, had seeped all the way inside to her floorboards. Well, mud was easily removed. She got out, went around to the trunk and stopped in astonishment, as the children gathered around her. “Mom, look!” one of the boys pointed in awe. There on the back of the muddy car window was a large man’s handprint.

“God does indeed give us a hand in our daily lives,” Marie says, “and thank God for guardian angels.”

Joan Anderson Copyrighted by Joan Wester Anderson, used with permission. Originally appeared on the Where Angels Walk website,

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