Sometimes there’s only a sense of heavenly connection — a whish of passing angel wings that comfort or inspire. But once in a while there is a vivid event where unseen hands protect at just the right time.
This is one of those extraordinary moments when it seemed a guardian angel intervened.
The year was 1979 and a perfect day for the toddler’s birthday party. Three candles stood tall on the cake as family and friends gathered to celebrate little Ryan’s special day.
Childish giggles mixed with frosting and smiles. Sticky fingers delighted in new playthings. The golden hours at grandma’s house in Pasco passed all too quickly.
Then with hugs all around, the little boy’s mom and dad whisked Ryan into their shiny-silver Ford pickup truck for the long ride home. Steep serpentine turns on state Highway 129 leading into Asotin, Wash., were ahead for the young family and they planned to be through the twisting road before nightfall.
“I knew the road well, but it wasn’t anything I wanted to drive in the dark,” says Micah Smith, who later moved to the Tri-Cities. The threesome shared the bench seat in the cab — a time before child safety seats and seatbelts were stressed or thought about much. Ryan sat next to the passenger door where he could peek out as the passing countryside sped by.
“Ryan, sit close to your mom,” Micah remembers saying to his son as they began their descent down the winding road.
About a third of the way down the route to America’s deepest gorge, Micah steered a hard left on the tight switchback — and then the unthinkable happened. The passenger door swung open, the centrifugal force sending it out wide on its hinges.
“I can remember small details of that moment as though it happened yesterday,” Micah says with a shudder. “The whine of the truck tires as we rounded the corner, the wind blowing through the cab, the speedometer needle on 35.”
And in the rearview mirror, a car was right behind them.
As Micah lunged across his wife Nancy’s lap — his left hand still on the steering wheel — his outstretched fingers fell short of Ryan as he tumbled out the door.
“I can’t explain what happened next,” Micah recalls the miracle he and Nancy witnessed that day. “Seconds passed, but instead of seeing our little boy roll and tumble onto the highway behind us, we saw him suspended in mid-air outside of the pickup.”
As the tires squealed, the door still thrown open, Nancy slid to the edge of the seat, reached hard and grabbed their toddler’s chubby arms pulling him back into the truck.
It was only then that Ryan’s guardian angel let go.
Psalm 91:11 “For he orders his angels to protect you wherever you go.” (NLT)
Lucy Note: Ryan Smith, now 38 years old, lives on the Gold Coast near Brisbane, Australia where he serves as the executive pastor for Good Life Community Church.
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