72: Blanketed in Love

72: Blanketed in Love

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miracles Happen

Blanketed in Love

A quilt will warm your body and comfort your soul.

~Author Unknown

“Drive safe.”

“See you Sunday.”

Our church group called out cheerful goodbyes. We had enjoyed a delightful ladies’ Christmas party. Now, wrapped in warm coats and holiday joy, we hurried to our cars to escape the bitter cold.

Throughout the early 1990s I worked for a medical staffing agency, and had been on call the night of the party. My beeper had been quiet, an unusual occurrence, and I had relished the uninterrupted evening of fellowship.

I waved and drove off through the dark Nebraska night, thanking God for the evening of carols, cookies, and companionship. I was in an unfamiliar area, so I didn’t see the four-way stop sign in the unlit intersection. The driver of a large luxury sedan, assuming I would stop, turned left in front of me. I slammed on my brakes, the tires screeching, but it was too late. My tiny Toyota hatchback smashed into the other car.

Time seemed to shift into slow motion.

I saw the other driver, a middle-aged woman, wide-eyed and open-mouthed. Metal crunched as our vehicles ground together, then spun apart. My head thudded into the windshield.

Stunned and woozy, I tried to get out of my car to check on the other driver, but my door was jammed. “Lord, please let her be okay,” I prayed.

Thankfully, several of my friends had been driving behind me. They screeched to a stop, and raced over to help. I unrolled my window, and was inundated with their frantic questions.

“Jeanie, are you okay?”

“What hurts?”

“Can you get out of there?”

I answered, “The door’s stuck, but I don’t think I can stand right now anyway. Will you check on the other lady?”

They hurried to the other driver. Outrage had replaced her alarm, and she was shrieking curses. My friends stayed with her, trying to calm and comfort her.

As I sat in the sub-freezing temperature, trembling with cold and shock, a woman appeared at my open window. She looked to be in her early thirties. Incredible love shone in her beautiful clear eyes. “Don’t worry,” she said. “Everything is all right.”

The stench of leaking radiator fluid seemed to fade, along with the clouds of profanity floating from the other vehicle.

A feeling of peace flooded me.

“Would you like a blanket?” she asked.

I nodded, teeth chattering. A moment later she laid a light blanket over me. It infused me with a warmth out of proportion to its thin fabric.

“Don’t talk. Just rest,” the lady said. “I’ll be right here.”

I was happy to comply until the wail of a police siren pierced my calm. My new friend stepped back when the officer came to assess the situation.

I gave him the highlights. “I didn’t see the signs in the dark, and I ran into the other lady’s car.”

“The rescue squad’s on the way,” he reassured me. “I’ll get a full report at the hospital. Meanwhile, sit tight under that blanket and stay warm.” The officer headed toward the other driver, whose river of curses dried up at his approach.

My new friend re-tucked the blanket around me. As the ambulance arrived in a glare of revolving red light, I asked, “What’s your name?”

She smiled, then walked away as the paramedics ran to my car.

The EMTs pried my crumpled door open, and transitioned me to the ambulance.

“Ma’am, I have to remove your blanket to check you over, then I’ll wrap you up nice and cozy again,” a young paramedic explained as we sped toward the hospital.

My husband and young daughter were already there, anxious for my arrival. The waiting room was filled with our church family, praying.

The hospital staff ran a battery of tests. While waiting for the results, the officer from the accident scene took my statement, wrote out a ticket and handed it to me as I lay on the emergency room table.

Several hours later I was being readied for discharge. The ER nurse lifted the blanket I’d come in with and asked, “Is this yours?”

Muddled from the medications I’d been given, I squinted at it and replied, “Nope.”

The nurse handed my purse to my husband, and ushered us into the night. The blanket was left behind.

On our way home I groggily told my husband and daughter about the wreck, and the lady who’d helped me. Then I remembered her blanket.

“Jake, we have to go back for the blanket.”

“Sweetie, we’ll take care of it tomorrow,” my husband replied, “Tonight you need to rest.”

The next day I called the hospital, but no one could find the blanket. It wasn’t in the ER or the lost and found. “We’re sorry, it seems to have disappeared,” they apologized.

I felt terrible. The woman had helped me, and now I’d lost her blanket. I hoped that one of my friends who’d been at the accident scene had learned the lady’s name.

At church that Sunday I thanked everyone for their prayers and support, then asked my friends if they knew the name of the lady who’d been so kind to me.

They looked at each other, confused. “You mean the woman driving the car you hit? The one swearing up a hot streak?” one of my friends asked.

“No, I’m talking about the woman who brought me the blanket. The one who stayed with me until the ambulance came.”

My friends’ expressions changed from confused to concerned. “How much medication are you on?”

“None,” I replied, “I’m fine. Now come on, you guys were there with me. I need to find the lady to thank her, and give her a new blanket.”

Instead of answering me, they huddled together. I could make out a few of their sentences.

“Did you see anyone?”

“No, did you?”

“No, I was busy with Queen Cuss-A-Lot.”

Impatient, I interrupted them. “You must have seen her. She stood at my car door the entire time.”

My friends turned to me, disconcerted. “Jeanie, we didn’t see anyone with you.”

I went home perplexed. Days later, while reading my Bible, I came across Psalm 34:7, “The Angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him [who revere and worship Him with awe] and each of them He delivers.”

The truth of what happened the night of the accident blazed in my mind. Shaken, I sank to my knees, tears of gratitude flowing unchecked.

God had given me a Christmas miracle. He had sent an angel to take care of me.

~Jeanie Jacobson

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