Miracle in the middle of nowhere

I'd like to share a story that convinced me, beyond ANY doubt, that there is a higher power.

It was the summer I turned twenty-one. My aunt and her family were going to Italy on vacation, and I was on my way to their home to wish them a good trip. I waited at the bus stop for a while, and then decided to walk since it wasn't really that far after all. It was a beautiful summer Sunday afternoon, and I remember thinking to myself how strange it was that there was absolutely no one on this normally very busy street. That day, it was like a ghost town as far as I could see...there were no people, no cars, no busses, no animals...nothing.

I was walking along when suddenly a car pulled up right by me. The man in the car started talking to me, pretending to be lost. I knew his type, I had seen dozens like him since I was a child. I ignored him and continued walking. He followed me in the car. I looked around and was once more completely amazed at how deserted the street was. He commented on it too, and told me to get in the car. I was thinking of a way out, and what happened next is just a blur. All I know is that I was in the car, and I couldn't get out.

He told me not to worry, that he would take me wherever I wanted to go. I told him to just let me out and he said no, he would give me a lift to where I was going because there were no busses and it was too hot to walk. I told him I really wanted to walk but he just kept driving, and got on the highway.

I asked him where he was going and he said that it was a beautiful day, so we were going for a ride. He drove for miles and then stopped in a large field in the middle of nowhere.

He parked the car and turned to me. He told me that his fiancée was in another country and that he was very lonely and needed some release. My mind was racing...I wanted to run but I knew I had no chance of getting away, and that I could never win a physical fight with him. Also, I didn't know if he had a weapon or not. At that point, anything was possible.

I looked out the car window and looked around as if it was for the last time. Suddenly, I found myself talking as if I wasn't in that situation at all, but rather just sitting there having a casual conversation. I asked him about his life, what he wished for, where he grew up. I told him about what had happened to me just a few months earlier with my divorce, and how thankful I was that my family supported me during the entire ordeal. I asked about his family and if they were in touch. He spoke fondly of them, and said he missed them all because he was alone in this country. Then I asked him how he would feel if someone took his fiancée or his sister or his mother off the street like he did with me, with the intentions he had in mind. The question jolted him, and he thought about it for a while. He seemed sad and he said he wouldn't like it at all. I asked him why and he said listen, you are not my mother or my sister. I am all alone and I have needs.

I said that may be so, but I am somebody's sister...somebody's daughter. The only way for you to get out of whatever trouble you could get into is to stop right now. There is no harm done, and we can pretend this never happened.

He thought about that and seemed to grasp it. He was very quiet for a long time. Then suddenly, he reverted to his perverted mind. He unzipped his pants and started holding himself. He said that if I "helped" him, he promised that he wouldn't hurt me and he would bring me home.

At that moment, I knew that it would not be like that. In my mind's eye, I saw my dead body lying in the field, miles from civilization. I thought of all the things I would never do, see, and be because of this guy...and I just couldn't accept it. I knew there was a way out...I just didn't know how...

I faintly heard him saying that it would all be over soon if I cooperated, but in my mind there was a voice so loud that I thought for sure he must be hearing it too. He reached for my hand and I grabbed his wrist in mid-air. I looked straight into his eyes and then I heard myself say calmly but with full authority: "Take me back RIGHT NOW...DO YOU UNDERSTAND?"

What I saw next bewildered me: his eyes were filled with terror. He blushed and turned several colors within seconds. Our eyes were locked, and that seemed to cause him extreme pain. He started to cry. After several seconds, I let go of his wrist and looked away. He embarrassedly dressed and composed himself, and apologized profusely.

All the drive back, he kept apologizing and begging for my forgiveness. He was ashamed and embarrassed, but most of all, he had a look of shock and fear. I asked him what he had planned to do when we were back there, and he said he didn't know, and that he had never done anything like that before. He said he didn't know what came over him and he couldn't understand what happened. He asked what he could do to make it up to me. I asked him to promise to be a good person, and never to do anything to harm anyone again. He said that after what happened, his life would never be the same.

What did he see in my eyes that terrified him? I know one thing for sure...it wasn't me. I certainly don't terrify anyone. I was the same size then as I am now: about 5'6" and 125 pounds...certainly no Goliath. And I know that he could have crushed me in a second...I have no doubt about that.

What terrified him was not me. It was a much greater and higher power...and it is in me, just like it is in you. The moment you need it, that power reveals itself in all its glory...and nothing, absolutely nothing or nobody can get in its way. I have experienced this first-hand. I was saved by the mighty power that day. I was saved by the mighty power many times. I bet you were too.

Don't you wish that you could have that power any time? I think it's possible...if you believe. But really believing is the greatest hurdle.

The power is there all the time, just like air is there all the time - we don't have to invoke it. But that's too simple for us to grasp. We keep looking for magic formulas that will make it manifest. We put our faith in images, objects and rituals. We give them the power to influence our lives, to save us from bad luck, to guide and heal us.

In reality, all we have to do is know and trust that the power is there all the time. This kind of faith is challenging because it requires your full belief. That can be scary if you're the type who doesn't like to put all your eggs in one basket. Faith requires that you fully believe that those eggs will not break or be wasted, and your only guarantee is your faith.

Remember the story about the lady who touched the robe of Jesus as he was walking on the road, surrounded by his followers? He turned around and asked who had touched his robe, and the woman admitted to it. Her asked her why, and she said that in her mind, she really believed that if she touched him, she would be healed. Jesus told her that her faith had healed her. Think about that. She thought that she was healed because she touched him. He told her that she was healed because she believed that she could be healed.

That's the way it is with faith. If you truly believe, it will be so.

I'll never forget that day in the field. At that crucial moment, I truly believed, WITHOUT A DOUBT, that I would be alright. And it was so, thank God.

I believe that miracles happen all the time...anywhere. Even in the middle of nowhere.

The key word is FAITH. 

Wishing only well,

Carmen Colombo
September 12, 1998


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