4: Purely Providential

4: Purely Providential

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Dreams and the Unexplainable

Purely Providential

With each new experience of letting God be in control, we gain courage and reinforcement for daring to do it again and again.

~Gloria Gaither

I awakened with a smile on my face. Sunbeams danced across the bedroom wall. “Wake up, sleepyhead!” I said. “It’s the first day of our vacation!”

John reached over, enfolding me in his strong arms. “I had the strangest dream,” he said. “We were driving along a country road, and every sign we spotted had the number 39 on it!”

“Hmmm . . . that is kinda strange. Maybe it was something you ate!” Tossing my pillow in John’s direction, I headed off to the kitchen to start the coffee. Several minutes later, we were sipping the hot beverage while John Googled driving directions.

“We’ve actually got our choice of two routes to the camping site we’ll be staying at tonight. We need to decide which one.”

Suddenly, John gasped. I looked up from the list I’d made of provisions I’d already loaded in the RV the night before.

“Take a look at this!” I hurried to the computer, leaning over John’s shoulder.

“This is the shortest route, which would get us there before dark. But now take a look at this other route!” It was my turn to gasp as I spotted the number 39 posted all along a mountain highway.

“Guess we know which one we’ll be taking! What can it mean?”

Silently, we studied each other’s puzzled expression as the printer noisily hummed away.

An hour later, we were officially on vacation, wreathed in smiles.

The ride was pleasant as we listened to soft music and pointed out various points of interest along the way. The warm sun caressed my face, and I nodded off to sleep, awakened much later by John’s soft whistle.

“Route 39 coming up!” With each mile, the traffic increased.

“Looks like we made a mistake,” I murmured, spotting a bustling town up ahead.

Colorful shops lined the busy highway, including several restaurants and a daycare center. For years, I’d been a professional caregiver. Early childhood education was my passion. “Lord, be with the children there,” I whispered, as I often did when I spotted a daycare center. Suddenly, I spotted something darting out the front door of the establishment. A little girl, no more than three, ran out into the busy, oncoming traffic. Frantic and sobbing, she weaved her way between cars. No one seemed to notice.

“John, pull over there!” I cried, pointing toward a parking lot and then flinging myself out the door. I raced after the toddler, scooping her into my arms as she lost her lunch down the front of my white sweater.

“It’s okay, sweetie! I’ve got you now. It’s going to be okay!” I held her closer as traffic suddenly came to a halt. We made our way safely back inside the daycare center, greeted by two hysterical adults.

“Do you have any idea what could have happened to this child?” I exclaimed.

Tears formed in the director’s eyes as she apologized over and over. The child offered her arms to the woman, and I relaxed somewhat. A policeman arrived, and John and I answered his questions, leaving our contact information if needed.

With grateful hearts that all was well with the little girl, we climbed back into our “home away from home,” anticipating the continuation of our journey. But before we started the engine, there was something more important on our minds.

Clasping each other’s hands, we bowed our heads, thanking God for being our Savior, for being Divine . . . for sending John dreams about Route 39.

~Mary Z. Whitney

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