In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “In Good Faith.”
Describe a memory or encounter in which you considered your faith, religion, spirituality — or lack of — for the first time.
I guess like a lot of people, over the years, I have witnessed my fair share of horrors and miracles, humanity has provided. I was fortunately and uniquely sublime to go with a friend to view the scene where he and his wife drove off the roadway and into the river with their two children under the age of 5 on the back seat.
I was in the Army and stationed in West Germany when I was just a young twenty-one year old and, alcohol consumption coupled with the lack of basic commonsense was at a premium.
However, this situation led me to an insightful understanding and belief in my faith.
I was asleep when my friend called to ask if I would drive him to see something. I was a slightly hung over from drinking with him and his wife just four or five hours earlier, so with groggy reluctance, I drove to his home where he lived with his wife, two kids and mother-law.
As soon as I pulled up to the home he quickly ran to the car, frantically followed by his wife, and they both entered the car yelling at me to leave. They were still hung over, and anxious to get away from her mother who was scolding them for being out until 3:00 am with their two children.
They asked me to drive them to an area along one of the mountain roads leading out-of-town and as I drove we talked about that party and the people who attended.
As I drove five miles out of the German town, along narrow mountain two lane roads. The mountains were on my right and to my left, across the opposite lane of travel was the guard rail, and below the rail for fifty to seventy feet, was a steeply sloped area leading to a level grassy area, next to a small active small river.
Suddenly my friend yelled for me to pull over to the shoulder of the road, as he and his wife both stared at the area of a missing guard rail as I parked the car on the shoulder of the roadway.
They both exited the car, and walked to the missing guard rail. As they walk closer, they fell to their knees crying profusely while holding each other.
As I walked behind them, I saw the missing section of guard rail, however the carnage of debris from dirt torn up by what appeared to be someone who drove a car spinning its tires, destroying the beautiful dark green grass at the bottom of the hill.
I was shocked and surprised the car survived the first impact with the sharply sloped hill after leaving the roadway.
I could see where the driver attempted several times to drive up the steep hill towards the guard rail, and eventually sliding back down the hill. Tracks embedded in the grass indicated the car went into the river traveling against the rivers current.
With my friend and his wife still crying, I could see my they’re car, parked in a picnic area about a hundred yards away from where we stood.
As I pointed to their car, they began to cry aloud with joy.
We returned to my car and I drove them to the picnic area where his wife began to explain, how she left the party at 2:00 am driving their car because my friend was too intoxicated to drive.
With the children asleep on the back seat, my friend asleep in the front passenger seat, she fell asleep at the wheel and she awoke when the car collided with the guard rail.
She explained how she did not touch the car’s steering wheel as it seemed to float in air, and land on the grassy hill and slide to the bottom causing my friend to wake, but the children remained asleep.
She explained how she drove around and attempted to drive towards the roadway up the hill several times, but it was far too steep. She did not know the river was nearby by until she drove into water.
Once the car was in the water, she panicked and revved the engine to drive along the river’s bed, when at times the water crept over the hood of the car and there was water inside on the floor of the car.
She suddenly didn’t know why or how, but she turned the wheel to the right driving out of the river and into the picnic area, where she caught the attention of another driver who was traveling pass. After she exited the car and spoke to the driver, he agreed to give them a ride home.
My friend found the keys in the car, and it started. We drove to a local coffee-house where we sat for several hours in disbelief, contemplating, and realizing how fortunately blessed they were to be alive.
Later in the day, we all attended a late day mass at his mother in-law’s Catholic Church which made her very happy and I prayed for my friends and the blessings that allow them to survive their horrifying event.
Ever since that incredible Sunday morning, my good faith is believing since I’m unaware of my expiration date, I seek to inspire, help, aid, and teach others to be appreciative of the many blessed opportunities and experiences the world has to offer until the day I die.