51: Night Fall

51: Night Fall

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Touched by an Angel

Night Fall

Prayer is the medium of miracles; in whatever way works for you, pray right now.

~Marianne Williamson

I sat straight up and listened intently. I heard only my two little ones’ peaceful breathing and the gentle tick of a clock beside me. An almost tangible presence of someone or something had woken me with an insistent message: “You need to pray. Now!”

“Lord, I have no idea who is in need of prayer at this moment, but You do. Please, be with them. Protect them from danger. Send Your angels to intervene.”

As my brain fog began to lift, I thought of my paratrooper husband. He’d been out of town, planning and executing a military training exercise. But he should have jumped and safely landed long before now. The division’s entire night operation should have ended hours ago.

“Pray for your husband!” I heard.

I fell to my knees, sensing imminent danger for the man I so loved. “Dear Lord, please don’t let Scott die. Certainly, You have other plans for him, for our family. Whatever his need, please protect him; protect those with him. Please, Lord, surround them with Your heavenly hosts.”

After several minutes of prayer, I felt the most beautiful peace — truly a peace that surpassed understanding. The intense urging subsided. The sense of crisis passed. I glanced at the clock: 3:10 a.m.

I climbed back into bed. And with peace still cradling me, I was actually able to roll over and get a few hours sleep before my little ones awoke.

No sooner had I opened my eyes that next morning than the phone rang. It was my husband.

“Scott, are you okay? Did everything go all right with your jump?”

“We had some fog. But I had a great jump, one of my softest landings ever.”

“Really? Everybody else’s jumps go okay?”

“Yeah, all good. But something strange happened after everyone jumped. Major Townsend and I had to take the rental car to the edge of the drop zone and wait for the heavy equipment to land.”

“Oh?” I knew “heavy equipment” meant the tanks, the Humvees and the pallets that the unit also had to practice dropping by parachute.

“Yeah, it was dark and hard to see. Major T and I were waiting outside the car when all of a sudden the wind shifted. We heard the rustle of chutes and a split second later saw the silhouette of a huge tank falling straight toward us! We jumped in the car and floored the gas. But that heavy drop hovered right over our car. It didn’t seem like we would get out of there before the tank landed on us. Yet somehow it floated past us and landed just yards away.”

I felt like my heart jumped into my throat, but the peace I felt the night before quickly returned.

“Scott, thank God you’re safe. I figured something happened. I was woken from a deep sleep with a message to pray for you. You don’t happen to know what time that was when you were trying to outrun the tank?”

“Wow — yeah, I do. Just about 3:00 a.m.”

~Kathleen Swartz McQuaig

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