Today I thought about the time when God intervened in my life even though I didn’t know Him. Below is the story I wrote several years ago:
It was a warm, late summer day in Japan. I was 3 ½ years old. My father was a sailor in the Navy so we lived on a military base in Sasebo— my father, my mother, my newborn baby brother, and my dog, Poochie.
Poochie was a tiny Yorkshire terrier, and my best friend. It seemed when no one else listened, Poochie always did. Whenever I was sad, he would lick my face and make me laugh. Poochie always made everything better.
I remember that day clearly. My mother was in the kitchen preparing lunch so I decided to go outside and play.
“Stay in the yard,” my mother said. I yelled back, “OK,” as I closed the door behind Poochie and me.
Poochie and I rolled around the green shimmering grass together. The grass smelled like it had been freshly mowed and the sun felt warm and comforting on my face. I chased Poochie then Poochie chased me, his tail wagging the whole time. We were having so much fun.
After a little while, Poochie took a break. He trotted further from the yard. The yard had no fence. I followed him. We came upon the road several feet from my house. I looked back and my home seemed so far away. Poochie picked up a scent and was slowly walking and sniffing across the road. He went from one lane then into the next. I tried calling him back but he was intent on discovering the source of the scent. I could feel my heart beating faster. I looked back to my house again. It seems so far away—if I tried calling out for my mother, I don’t think she would even hear me. I experienced a dilemma. Should I go across the road and get him? Or should I run back home and tell my mother?
I looked to the right of the road, then to the left. It seemed deserted. “Let me try to get Poochie’s attention,” I said to myself.
“Here, Poochie… come here,” I called out sweetly. I even crouched down and held my hand out to him, but he kept sniffing. “I’m just being too nice. Maybe I should say it in a voice my mother uses when she wants me to do something right away,” I thought.
“Poochie! You get back here right now!” I said sternly as I pointed to the spot where I was standing. “He’s still sniffing. He’s totally ignoring me!” I said angrily to myself.
I looked to the right of the road, then to the left again. “It looks clear. Maybe I should just go out there and get him,” I reasoned to myself. “Let me try to get him one more time.”
This time I pleaded with him—“Poochie, pleeeeasssse come here.” I held out my arms for him. I was nearly in tears. “He’s still sniffing!”
“OK, the house is too far way…the road is clear…there are no cars…he’s not listening to me, so I should go get him,” I rationalized. Just as I picked up my foot to step on the road I heard a voice, but there was no one around me.
The voice said softly, “Remember what your mother said—you can’t go across the street without an adult.” I placed my foot down next to the other and called for Poochie again. He looked up at me this time. He started to walk back in my direction when suddenly a speeding car came around the bend and struck him.
I screamed at the top of my lungs, “POOOOOCHIEEEE!” My voice echoed through the air. Poochie was lying on his side and was motionless.
The man in the car stepped out and stammered, “I… I didn’t see him…are you alright? I didn’t see him…I’m sorry.”
My mother came running from the house. All I could do was stand there. My eyes were fixated on Poochie.
“Poochie, can you get up? Poochie, are you alright?” I whispered to myself. Deep down inside I knew Poochie would never get up again.
The man was talking to my mother, but I couldn’t comprehend what they were saying. All I could think about was that Poochie was gone… my best friend was dead. Who will roll in the grass with me? Who will make me happy when I’m sad?
As my thoughts raced through all the times Poochie and I spent together, the man came up to me, “It’s a good thing you didn’t go in the road because that could have been you laying there.”
I looked up at him. The words burned into my mind. Yes, that could have been me laying there. The car could have hit ME.
I don’t know if the voice I heard was an angel or not, but I know that if I had walked across the road to get Poochie that I would be dead too.
So, are angels real? Whenever I hear that question I think back to that late summer day in Sasebo, Japan when the voice I heard stopped me from getting hit by a car. I think angels are real. “Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14).