Miracle on Avenue 7

The morning began as it had on so many other mornings for Mary Ann Meyer. As she pulled out of her driveway in her little Ford Fiesta, she was prepared for another day in her classroom at Eastin-Arcola School. She had no premonition of danger; she had no reason for fear. She believed in guardian angels and had every reason to believe hers would watch over her that day. As things turned out, they did watch over her and saved her from a tragedy on the way to school.


Mary Ann had had plenty of time to think about angels. By the time she was ready for high school, she decided she wanted to become a nun, so she entered a convent in St. Louis and prepared to follow her calling. Her teaching assignments took her to a variety of locations including Iowa, Illinois, and St. Helen’s Catholic School in Fresno. The educational program Mary Ann followed was grounded in the gospel of Jesus Christ and the teachings of the Catholic Church. Her students were called to love God, to treat others respectfully, to work to the best of their abilities, and to have reverence for all of God’s creation. Later, Mary Ann left the convent, but she never lost her sense of service or her love for her students. That’s what motivated her to get up that morning and begin her drive to destiny on the way to Eastin-Arcola School.


At first there was nothing unusual about the drive. She would take Avenue 7 for awhile and then turn up to Avenue 8 to reach the school. Before she made that turn, however, she came up behind a pickup truck piled to the cab with an assorted load, including a load of lumber on the bottom and a heavy, industrial wheelbarrow on the top. The tailgate of the truck was down.


Mary Ann fell in behind the truck and decided not to pass. The vehicle was maintaining the speed limit, so she followed suit, keeping a distance of about six car lengths. The road at that point was smooth. There were no bumps — no reason for the load in the pickup truck to move — but suddenly a 2 x 4 on the very bottom of the load inexplicably lunged forward. Mary Ann wondered how it was possible for that board to move all by itself under that heavy load, nevertheless, she drove on maintaining her distance behind the truck.


Moments later, it happened again. That same 2 x 4 at the bottom of the load shot out even more. This really got Mary Ann’s attention, so she backed off, keeping a distance of about three power poles between her car and the pickup truck. Then it happened. As Mary Ann looked on with incredulity, the heavy wheelbarrow on top of the load was lifted up and came crashing to the pavement. She was able to stop just before hitting it.


As she and the driver of the pickup truck stood there aghast, looking at that heavy, industrial wheelbarrow now spread out on the road, they shuttered to think what would have happened if Mary Ann had not backed away from the truck. The wheelbarrow would have come crashing through her window. She saw immediately that her guardian angel had saved her. There was no other explanation. There had been no wind that day; the road was smooth, so the load on the pickup truck had not been jostled. Nothing could explain why the wheelbarrow had been swept off the top of the load and onto the road. There was, however, a larger mystery. How had that 2 x 4 been able to move twice, buried as it was on the bottom of the heavy load?


Mary Ann saw clearly what had happened. God knew the wheelbarrow was going to leave the truck and would strike her windshield. So He gave Mary Ann two warnings by moving the 2 x 4 and grabbing her attention thus saving her from a catastrophe.


One question, however, remains. Instead of warning Mary Ann by moving the 2 x 4 from under the load, why didn’t He just stop the wheelbarrow from flying off the truck in the first place? There could be a couple of answers to that question. If the wheelbarrow had remained on the truck, Mary Ann would never have witnessed this miracle, which affirmed her faith. Instead, it did coming flying off, and God showed once again that He is in control.


Further, God may have had a secondary purpose. He was able to remind the driver of the pickup truck that he must make sure his load is always securely tied down.

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