From the time she was a little girl, Christine Clark could feel God's protective hands around her. She and her siblings were raised with Christian values in a family where attending church and believing in God was a way of life. But like so many, Christine fell away from the ideals she'd been taught as a child and didn't return to them until she was thirty-five, married, and with a family of her own.

"Somehow everything is new to me, all the things I've known for years," Christine confided in her husband, Earl, one day. "I really know God now, and everything about Him seems suddenly real."

Her faith became so strong that it came as no surprise to Earl when Christine formed a group in her hometown, Bryan, Ohio, called the Christian Woman's Prayer Breakfast. Over the years as the group continued to grow, Christine was very vocal about the need for women to meet together and pray.

"Our children, our marriages, our schools, and our community," she'd tell her audiences. "All of them need our prayers."

Christine was aware that even agnostic scientists had been able to prove prayer changes things, even if they couldn't explain why. Since that was the case, she was determined to start a chain reaction of women's groups meeting for that very purpose.

Over the years, with the help of many other women, prayer breakfasts began sprouting up in other Ohio towns and eventually throughout the midwest and the United States. Eventually the group came to be called the Christian Woman's Club, and it included an active chapter in Washington, D.C.

"If there is any place where we need people who will pray for this country, it's at the Capitol," Christine told her husband.

Earl smiled at her. He was proud of her hard work and the way in which her desire to pray with other women had caught on around the country. "Go get 'em, Christine," he would tell her. "Get the whole country down on their knees."

"Earl, one day I want to go to Washington, D.C. and see for myself that women there are praying, too," she said. "Maybe when the kids are grown and moved away."

Earl thought a moment. "That's a long time from now and a long way from home, dear," he said. "But you never know. Maybe one day you will have that chance."

The opportunity came more than two decades later in the winter of 1977 not long after Christine's sixtieth birthday, long after she had accepted the position of president of the prayer group. That January, Christine was invited to speak at the group's annual nationwide meeting in Washington, D.C.

"You don't care if I go, do you, Earl?" she asked, holding up the invitation excitedly, her eyes sparkling as they hadn't done in years.

Earl chuckled. "Well, I guess you'll find some way to go no matter what I say," he said. "That's a lot of travel to do by yourself, but I'm sure you'll be fine." He paused and pointed to the telephone. "Well, don't stand around thinking about it. Better get yourself some plane tickets."

One month later Christine and four of her friends from a nearby chapter of the prayer group left for the meeting with plans to stay four days and tour the capital. The trip went far better than Christine ever expected. She was greatly encouraged by the excitement among her peers to continue meeting each week for prayer and to involve more women in the process. She was also proud of herself for traveling so fearlessly after so many years of staying close to home.

"I know I'm not a worldly traveler," she told her friends after a day of meetings that week. "But I wasn't afraid to come here, and I have peace about the trip home. God's brought me this far, and He'll see me back safely."

Christine planned to return to Ohio that Saturday, but Friday morning the weather forecasters began announcing that a terrible snowstorm was traveling across much of the Midwest, including Ohio. That afternoon Christine called home and talked to Earl about the reports.

"Is it true about the weather, Earl?" she asked. Earl was surprised that Christine sounded so calm, and he cleared his throat.

"Yes, dear," he said. "It hit last night and it looks like a bad one. Everything's closed down. Maybe you better stay in Washington, D.C., for a few days."

"Oh, Earl. I don't think that's necessary," she said. "I've had a great time, but I'm ready to come home."

Earl sighed. "Listen, Christine, there's absolutely no movement anywhere in town. The turnpike's closed from here to Indiana, and the radio announcer is warning people to stay off the roads. When does your plane leave?"

"Early in the morning."

"No, Christine. That just won't work. You'll have to stay at least another day until they can clear the roads."

"Earl, I want to come home," Christine said, her voice confident and certain. "If my plane leaves for Toledo, I'm going to be on it."

Earl shook his head. "Don't be stubborn, Christine. It's not worth getting stuck out there in the snow."

"I know that. But they won't fly into Toledo if it's unsafe. Don't worry, I'll be fine. And I'll call you if there's any change in plans."

Saturday morning, an hour before she needed to be at the airport, Christine called the airlines and asked about her flight.

"It's not great flying conditions, but we're planning on taking off as scheduled," an airline representative told her.

At the same time Christine's friends, who lived several hours from Bryan, Ohio, contacted the airline they were flying on and discovered that their flight was canceled. They would have to wait until late Sunday night in order to leave Washington, D.C.

"You're going to go anyway, aren't you, Christine?" her friend, Nell, asked.

Christine nodded. "Yes." She was quiet a moment, for the first time feeling a slight hesitation in her resolve to get back to Ohio. "Why don't we all pray that everything will go all right for me on the way home?"

Having prayed together as a group for several years, the women did what came naturally to them. They formed a circle and asked God to grant safe travel to Christine as she flew and then drove back to her hometown.

Christine arrived at the airport with plenty of time and was surprised to see that only ten people were on the airplane when it took off.

"Is this normal?" she asked one of the flight attendants. "There's hardly anyone on the plane."

The woman shook her head. "Everyone else canceled because of the weather. I guess you're one of the brave ones."

The pilot announced during the flight that they would have perfect flying conditions throughout the trip since the storm had finally ended.

"But you're in for a tricky drive once you land," he said. "It's twenty degrees below zero, and there are drifts of snow ten feet high across most of Ohio."

When the plane landed in Toledo, Christine was surprised to find the airport virtually empty, with lights dimmed and no heat. Christine wrapped her arms around herself and began shivering. She was wearing only a lightweight dress and a long sweater and was unprepared for the freezing temperatures that awaited her outside. She found a pay phone and quickly called Earl.

"I'm in Toledo, have you heard about the roads?" she asked.

"Yes, the turnpike's open but only one lane each way. They're still advising people to stay off the roads," he said. "Honey, why don't you spend the night in a motel out there and make the trip tomorrow morning."

Christine thought a minute. "If the turnpike is open, I want to come home, Earl. It's only two in the afternoon, and I'll be home long before dark."

Earl was surprised at Christine's independence. She had never traveled much by herself and now she was acting as confident as a veteran traveler. "You have a good feeling about it, don't you?"

"Yes, Earl. The ladies and I prayed about it. I'll be fine. God will get me home safely."

Carefully Christine made her way across the snow-packed parking lot to her car. She stared at the vehicle in disbelief. There were snowdrifts around and on top of most of the cars in the lot. But hers had no snow on it. She smiled knowingly and climbed inside. The moment she turned the key, the car came to life.

"As if it had been sitting in a warm garage," she told Earl later, "instead of standing idle for days in freezing weather."

Rather than worry about what conditions she might encounter on the ride home, Christine thanked God for letting her car start so easily and began singing hymns they had sung at the conference. She was filled with joy at the memories she'd made and the new friendships that had blossomed as a result of the national meeting.

As she exited the airport, she had to decide whether to turn right or left. Either way would lead her to the turnpike but the distance was far shorter to turn left. She stared toward the left and saw that snow filled the road. Then suddenly a car came from that direction and Christine decided that the road must be opened if that car had made it through. Carefully she turned her car left, feeling the tires slipping beneath her.

The route she had chosen took her along a narrow road that was not well-traveled, and as Christine inched along atop a foot of packed snow, she saw towering drifts on both sides of her. As she continued she could see cars completely buried in snow and several which had overturned into the ditch that ran the length of the road.

Since everything was covered with snow, Christine became disoriented and missed turning onto the street that would take her to the turnpike. Instead she continued straight ahead unaware that she was traveling into a dangerously remote area. When she had traveled nearly half a mile, she saw a mountain of snow blocking the road ahead of her. Christine felt a twinge of frustration. The snowdrift made it impossible to continue in that direction. The road was narrow and bordered by snowdrifts, so Christine stopped the car and tried to imagine a way to turn around. Looking over her shoulder there seemed to be a clear spot on the right side of the road, so she slowly hacked into it.

Almost instantly the back wheels of Christine's car began spinning wildly. Although she rarely drove in winter conditions, she knew enough to understand that she was stuck. Her tires had lost traction with the road. She sat a moment, still calm and certain that God would help her out of the predicament she suddenly faced.

She thought about her options. She was sixty years old, and she knew she would be unable to push her car out of the snow. She could remain inside the car with the engine running, allowing the car's heater to keep her warm. But what if she ran out of gasoline? And what if the road had been closed and no one traveled that way for several days. She closed her eyes and again asked God for his help. When she opened them, she turned and looked toward the right where the snow still blocked the road. There, seemingly stuck in the snow, was a car with two men inside.

At that instant the men climbed out of the car and walked in her direction. They wore similar long gray coats and matching caps and as they approached her they neither waved nor spoke. Christine glanced to her left, in the direction she had come, and was puzzled. There had been no other cars on the road, and she wondered how their vehicle had suddenly appeared. Then she looked again at the two men who had nearly reached her car.

Just then the men stopped moving and stared at her. There was peace in there eyes, and as they exchanged eye contact, Christine felt reassurance. Her car was still running, but she had taken her foot off the gas pedal. At that instant her car lurched forward, and as if it was being moved by the hands of a giant the car slid back onto the road. Suddenly, without having touched the steering wheel or gas pedal, Christine was facing the right direction.

Jolted by the sudden movement, Christine put her foot on the gas pedal and found that the car responded with ease. She looked in her rearview mirror to see if the men had climbed back into their car, but they were gone. There was no sign of them or their car, and Christine felt a burst of adrenaline race through her body. The road was just one lane because of the snow and the drift blocking the way prevented anyone from traveling beyond it. So there was no way for the men to get out of that area except to travel behind Christine in the same direction she was driving.

Instantly Christine knew what had happened.

"They were angels," she muttered to herself. "Sent by God to turn me around get me headed in the right direction."

In her opinion, there was no other explanation.

Christine made the rest of the journey without incident, and when she walked through the front door she quickly thanked God for looking out for her.

When she walked into the house, Earl approached her from one of the back rooms and saw what seemed to be an unnatural glow about his wife's face.

"What is it?" he asked. "Has something happened?"

Christine smiled warmly. "Yes, Earl. Come sit down. I have to tell you about my miracle."

 

From: ANGELS, MIRACLES AND ANSWERED PRAYERS. (It must have been a miracle Everyday lives touched by miracles) Vol 1. Kelsey Tyler. Angel encounters in everyday life and everyday lives touched by miracles. Pag. 145-152, Guideposts. New York 1994.

 

 

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