15: The Mysterious Shield

15: The Mysterious Shield

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Angels and Miracles

The Mysterious Shield

Miracles do not, in fact, break the laws of nature.

~C.S. Lewis

It was a typical weekday morning, and I was looking forward to it. Since my husband had passed away the year before, I had only myself to feed. Although I still missed cooking a hefty morning meal of eggs, bacon, and toast for him, breakfast for me was quite simple. A steaming bowl of rolled oats, fruit, and milk, coupled with a cup of green tea was fine — then it was off into my office to work on some new articles, standard procedure for me.

That morning, the sun was shining, there wasn’t a cloud in the brilliant blue sky, and the neighborhood hummingbirds were busily jousting with each other for positions on my outside feeder. It would be another pleasant day.

As I always did, I stood casually leafing through the pages of my morning paper at the kitchen counter, with my back to the stove, my teakettle steadily warming water for my tea.

Suddenly, with no warning—I heard a horrendous violent explosion! It shook the entire house! Whirling around, I couldn’t believe what I saw! There stood the remains of my sturdy cast-iron stove, the top now shattered into tiny black shards! My eyes darted rapidly around the kitchen; I saw destruction everywhere! All the walls were splattered and damaged with bits of black particles, more pieces of my sturdy cast-iron stove. Tiny pieces of other kitchen items now littered the entire floor. The kitchen window was broken and the lid from a glass canister had somehow become completely unscrewed and blown down onto the floor.

And then I noticed something even stranger—there was insulation scattered on the floor! Where could that have come from? The attic? How? Glancing up, I found my answer. There were three large jagged holes in my kitchen ceiling; the metal trim on the ceiling light was now twisted and badly bent. Glancing down again, I saw remnants of my teakettle scattered over the floor, where they had fallen after piercing the ceiling!

As I stood there trying to make sense of it all, my nose detected an ominous smell — gas — now rapidly leaking from my shattered stove! For a split second, I paused, and then sanity set in. Rushing, I opened all the doors and windows to dilute the gas with fresh air, and then I ran for the phone.

“Hurry, please,” I shouted to the 911 dispatcher. “Gas is leaking in my home. I need it shut off—now — before my house blows up!” I raced out of the house and called my son, Richard.

Thankfully, the gas company and fire department arrived in minutes; the gas was quickly turned off and my home was saved — but my kitchen was in a shambles.

After everyone left, I began picking through the damage. I discovered that the remains of the teakettle perfectly matched the holes in the ceiling. It had burst into pieces with such force that those pieces had almost gone through the roof—but why?

Everything was a total mess — glass was hanging in the shattered front window, held together only by the tinted sun protection film that stuck to it. I also found that the intense concussion of that explosion had broken another window, far over in my dining area. Surveying it all, I could only feel numb.

But then reality — and sheer puzzlement — set in. What if I had been struck by those flying pieces of metal and knocked unconscious? Or even worse — killed? My home would have filled up with that gas and blown to smithereens, with me inside. I began to shake all over, realizing the danger that I and my whole neighborhood had avoided.

Just then, my son arrived, checking to see if I’d been harmed. Other than being in tremendous shock — and still hearing loud ringing in my ears — I appeared to be all right.

Slowly, he and I began to check the full extent of the disaster—the damaged walls, the gaping holes in the ceiling. With great care, we began gathering up the shattered pieces of my stove, insulation, and loads of other debris littering the entire kitchen. It was everywhere.

As we placed the broken pieces of the teakettle and other debris into a box, my son suddenly looked at me.

“Show me exactly where you were standing when this explosion happened, Mom.”

“Right here,” I pointed, “three feet from the stove, by the counter, as I always do.”

Then he pointed something out to me, which in my panic I had not even noticed.

“Look at that spot where you were standing,” he said. “There is not one tiny bit of splatter or debris stuck in the wall, nor any debris anywhere else in the space where you were. The rest of this kitchen is a disaster.”

To further demonstrate, he measured that section with his long outstretched arms, forming a semi-circle.

I realized he was absolutely right! That small area where I had stood was pristine; there was not even one tiny piece of damage in that area, not a particle, nor black shards in that wall anywhere!

Like a solid invisible shield surrounding the location where I’d been standing, I had been completely — and mysteriously—protected from any jagged flying pieces or deadly harm.

It made no sense. The pieces of debris had spread in a wide arc everywhere except where I stood, with my back to the stove, innocently reading the paper. I don’t know how or why, but some kind of unusual force had formed an invisible shield of protection that protected me from injury, and maybe even death, that day.

~Kay Presto

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