Probably it wasn’t wise for a single woman to set out alone in the middle of a very hot July to drive across the great (big) state of Texas in an old Chevrolet without air conditioning. It was 1978. I was on my way to a new life at Ananda Village in California, and I didn’t want to wait another day.
I’d never driven across Texas on my own before. I knew it would be hard, but I felt it was doable. I remembered an old saying my mother told me, which I set to music and sang as I drove and drove. “The sun has riz; the sun has set; and here I is, in Texas yet.”
About three quarters of the way across Texas, I began to feel really ill. Maybe it was the heat, or my anxiety about the move, or just the stomach flu, but I started to see white spots before my eyes and felt I couldn’t drive any farther.
I checked into a cheap motel somewhere in West Texas, and spent much of an uncomfortable night praying for help. In the morning I felt slightly better, and, more importantly, that God wanted me to go on.
That carried me as far as Las Cruces, New Mexico. But then again I began to feel so ill, I knew if I didn’t find help I would have to stop driving. Picking up hitchhikers is not recommended for women driving alone, but I kept thinking, “Perhaps I’ll find someone who can drive for me.”
Just when I was about to give up completely, I saw two women about my age hitchhiking near a freeway entrance ramp. One was holding a guitar case. As clear as a bell I heard the words, “This is the answer to your prayer.”
“Where are you going?” I asked when I pulled up in front of them.
“Sacramento,” was the reply. Just a short way from my destination.
“Can either of you drive?” I asked.
“I have a chauffeur’s license,” one replied, and promptly pulled it out to show me.
“Please get in. Would you drive for me? I’m not feeling well.”
As we pulled back onto the highway one of them said, “We were praying that someone kind and safe would give us a ride. We were in a pickup truck with this man but we felt he was not a good person. We made him stop and let us out here. Fortunately he agreed. We were quite scared and felt we needed divine help to go on.”
We started talking. They told me their story; I shared mine. They played music for me, fed me soup, and put cold, damp towels on my aching brow. We ended up driving straight through to Sacramento.
We exchanged names and addresses but I never heard from them. I don’t think they were angels, but certainly they were angelic in the way they cared for me. I was the answer to their prayer, and they were the answer to mine.