I would like to share a story that is near and dear to my heart in honor of Thanksgiving. Some people believe miracles aren’t real or that they don’t happen anymore like they did anciently, but I humbly disagree. Miracles take place every day, though sometimes we don’t notice them. Here is a miracle that I experienced on July 18, 2008.
I was living in Lynnwood, Washington at the time and I would take the bus to my job in Seattle. That was a nice setup because the bus stop was close to my apartment and I could just relax for the 50-minute trip into and out of downtown each day. I wasn’t married and I didn’t have children at the time, so I didn’t mind the long commute. I would often spend that time talking to people on the bus, making friends, writing in my book or reading a good book.
The day before the miracle took place, I sat next to a woman named Doris on the way home from work. She was 40ish and she had blonde hair and a German accent. We spoke briefly on our trip.
The next day, I was excited because a new double-decker bus showed up to pick me up after work. The local Community Transit had recently started using these European-style buses because I guess they’re more maneuverable and they’re a treat for passengers. Whenever I got the chance, I loved to climb up to the top of these buses and sit near the front because from there it feels like I’m flying down the road.
But this time, I didn’t feel like going to the top level. Instead, I did something I had never done before on a double-decker bus – I sat on the bottom level in the middle row. I never did that because I preferred sitting in either the front or the back. It felt kind of strange to me to do that, but for some reason it felt even stranger to me to go to my usual spot upstairs.
I shrugged off the strangeness of that situation, and I proceeded to get to work writing. After several stops, a woman got on the bus and sat next to me. She had her head turned away from me, and when she turned to see who she was sitting next to, I was surprised to learn it was Doris. She was surprised, too, but also happy to see me.
Inspired by the coincidence of sitting together two days in a row, we struck up an in-depth conversation. We talked about God, modern revelation, prophets and the Plan of Salvation. She had interesting questions, and I was enjoying teaching and learning from her. Our conversation had shifted to why bad things happen to good people when I suddenly looked away from her and lifted my eyes to the front of the bus. There was nothing particularly odd that caught the corner of my eye or enticed me to look that way, but look I did.
We were swiftly heading north on Interstate 5 in the carpool lane on the far left. I noticed that the cars in front of us were coming to an abrupt stop not too far ahead, but the bus driver didn’t notice them and we were about to have a major collision. When I realized the danger, I yelled, “Stop!” The bus driver came to his senses, slammed on the brakes and swerved onto the shoulder just in time to avoid hitting the stopped cars. He apologized over the intercom for the error and we continued safely on our way.
Too Many Coincidences
Doris looked at me differently. She and I were probably the only ones on the bus who knew that a miracle had just taken place. So many unlikely things happened that day:
- I sat in a part of the double-decker bus where I had never sat before and I never did again. If I hadn’t sat on the bottom level, I might not have been able to warn the bus driver in time to avoid disaster.
- I sat next to Doris two days in a row and we happened to be having a conversation about spiritual things.
- Although my attention was fixed on Doris for most of the bus ride, in that one critical moment I looked up and saw the danger just barely in time to save the bus from crashing. If I had looked up a few seconds earlier I might not have seen any danger, and if I had looked a few seconds later it would have been too late.
When Doris pointed out how remarkable it was that we weren’t hurt, I said, “This is not the first time God has spared my life and protected me from harm. Nothing happens by accident. I know God is watching out for us.”
Even when life is difficult or seemingly random, you can take heart that it will turn out for the best if you do your best, trust in a higher power and try to live a good, honest life. No one’s perfect. My life has been full of ups and downs, but I am so grateful this Thanksgiving to be alive and to be where I am. I hope you’ll have a wonderful holiday with your family.
This is the Deja Reviewer bidding you farewell until we meet again.