73: Our Personal SOS

73: Our Personal SOS

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotional Stories for Wives

Our Personal SOS

By Jeanette Levellie

Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away.

~Song of Songs 8:7a

I answered the phone at work to my husband Kevin’s voice, quivering and raspy. “I flipped the car over the bridge into Sugar Creek.”

My knees turned to sand. “Are you okay, honey?”

“Yes. I managed to crawl out the window, up the creek bank, and walk to a neighbor’s house. But the car is a mess. The police and tow truck are on their way. Can you meet me on the bridge?”

I fought to keep my voice calm in spite of my racing heart. “I’ll be there as soon as I can.”

After a few deep breaths to clear my muddied thoughts, I called my boss to tell him I needed to leave. On the seven-mile drive to the bridge, I searched my soul and prayed. Since moving from Los Angeles to rural Illinois a few months earlier, our lives had drifted apart. We weren’t in danger of sinking. Yet.

Could this accident be an SOS for our marriage?

Half an hour later, we stood on the bridge over Sugar Creek, our arms tight around each other. We watched in silent shock as the towing crew dragged our car up the bank.

Through chattering teeth, Kevin explained what had happened.

“Just as I reached the bridge, I felt like I was driving on ice. I wrestled with the steering wheel to get control of the car.” He paused, his shoulders heaving with silent sobs. “The next thing I knew, I was covered in water from my head to my waist, hanging upside down by my seatbelt. The water had come in through the open window.”

My husband does not swim. If the crash had knocked him out, he’d have drowned. And because the car settled under the bridge, no one driving along would have seen him. He might have been there for days before anyone discovered him.

I shivered at the thought and looked into his eyes, clear brown and alive.

My own dripped tears into the murky water.

Not until later that night did I let myself cry freely. I sobbed my remorse to the Lord for the many times I’d been impatient with Kevin when he annoyed me or didn’t live up to my expectations. I admitted how I’d taken for granted the many sweet things he did for me, like having dinner ready when I got home, grocery shopping, and pretending to like my cats. I realized how in the flash of sunlight on a bridge railing and the twist of a tire, a loved one could leave forever. I recommitted my heart to stay on board with Kevin.

They’ve repaired the bridge at Sugar Creek, widening it to make it safer. And every time we drive over, I breathe a thankful prayer that God gave our marriage an SOS.

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