I had stayed to talk to an editor one-on-one after a session at a writer’s conference. The conference was being held in Green Lake,Wisconsin at the American Baptist Assembly. Leaving the building, I noticed that it was dark and the parking lot was nearly empty except for a couple of cars. I was staying a mile out on the Lakeshore road in one of the large homes. While staying to talk to the editor had seemed like a good idea in the daylight, it didn’t seem so good after darkness fell. Not wanting to bother the editor by asking her to run me home, I decided it’d be okay. The lights in the parking lot were still on. Surely, there’d be enough light from the windows of the houses to light my way.
But as I walked away from the conference area and turned on the Lakeshore road, I was plunged into total darkness. Thick, blanketing blackness covered me. The ebony night pressed in on me, smothering me—there was no escape. There wasn’t a moon or star in the sky. There weren’t any cars on the road, nor did a light shine from nary a window. I knew the lake was to my right and it was deep. What if I lost my way? The road was very curvy. What if I walked into the lake? I couldn’t swim.
Panicked, I let out a blood-curdling scream. I cried out, “God you have to help me! I can’t see anything, I can’t find my way. Then the very second I’d cried out, she was there by my side with a flashlight.
In that instant, I thought, God sent an angel in response to my cry for help. But I have to confess, in my humanness, I was a bit skeptical.
“Who are you and where did you come from?” I asked.
“I’m Susan. I’m staying back there in my car for I don’t have a room.”
Realizing that she was probably breaking the rules, I asked, “How did you get on the grounds?”
“I drove in yesterday and I’m just staying in my car. I want to stay until tomorrow and talk to an editor. I have to find the Writer’s Cottage.”
Finally, we reached the home where I was staying. I thought about asking her in, but knew it would be the wrong thing to do even if she had saved my life. What if she decided to stay downstairs and sleep on one of the couches? The people at the main office would be upset that I had given her shelter when she hadn’t paid the fees. I didn’t want to get myself thrown out of the conference. Plus, she was a stranger. What did I really know about her? I needed to make a split-second decision and I was never very good with those, so I pointed the way to the Writer’s Cottage. “If you go on down the road a piece, you’ll find the Writer’s Cottage just around the bend. It’s the next house.
“Goodnight,” she called. “Maybe I’ll see you at breakfast.”
The next morning I looked for Susan, but she was nowhere to be found. I asked those staying at the Writer’s Cottage if they had seen her, no one had.
I finally concluded that Susan was an angel (earthly or heavenly, and I believe the latter) sent by God in my moment of crisis. I don’t believe she could have appeared that fast if she wasn’t an angel. In my mind, there just isn’t any other explanation. What do you think?