It was the end of an abusive marriage and the beginning of a new adventure for me and my twenty-two month old son, Robbie. Since I had a few family and friends living in North Carolina, I decided to sell my skimpy possessions, pack my bags and move there.
I bought a one way ticket, and the day of take off, mom and daddy drove me to the bus terminal. After hours of waiting for my bus to arrive, it was announced that it had broken down and a substitute was on its way; a local that would prove to be the longest, most mysterious ride ever from Delaware to North Carolina.
Several hours later, the bus still hadn’t arrived, so mom and daddy called it a night. We hugged and kissed, said our farewells, and I watched as they disappeared down the dim, busy corridor. And there I stood, feeling as if I had been dumped and forsaken on another planet.
I no sooner turned around to grab my bags, when a tall, handsome young man picked them up and found us a place to sit. Then he bought me something to eat and talked to me as if he had known me all my life. I felt comfortable with him. I felt safe and secure, feelings I was not accustomed to.
Finally our bus arrived and the stranger snatched my bags, escorted me to the bus, found us a seat, put my bags on the rack, and plopped down beside me. He smiled and said he was on his way to a wedding in Virginia.
A wedding, I thought. How wonderful. I was nineteen when I got married, twenty when my baby was born, and now, at the ripe old age of twenty-two, I’m getting divorced. Marriage is not what it’s cracked up to be, I sighed. Life before marriage wasn’t a piece of cake either. Home was a war zone of yelling and screaming, drug and alcohol abuse, lies and distrust. I never saw so many angry faces, glaring eyes, and heart wrenching tears. Eventually my thinking became distorted and my soul felt as if someone had poked holes in it.
I wanted out. So I married a man whose home life was as brutal as mine. Because of our brokenness and immaturity, we were not equipped to honor the vows “till death do us part” unless we killed each other.
And just when I had given up on humanity, this handsome young man appears. This man who doesn’t seem like a man at all, but a guardian of some sort. How could he possibly have known my dire situation? How could he have known how frightened and lonely I was to venture into the unknown with a baby to raise? How could he have known how desperately I needed his help?
Into the wee hours of the morning, Robbie became fussy and restless. Immediately, the stranger took him in his arms, played with him, then rocked him sound to sleep. Then, unable to keep my head from nodding, I laid it on his shoulder and he placed his arm around me. I never felt so safe and protected.
I wished this moment in time would never end. I wished for love and understanding that seemed to permeate from this stranger beside me. But all the wishing in the world couldn’t stop him form stepping off the bus and vanishing as quickly as he had appeared.
Now, forty-five years later the memory is just as vivid, the mystery just as enchanting as it was that night. But the more I’ve thought about the whole encounter the more I believe that the mystery man was a special delivery sent from God . . . my guardian angel.