Planes, Trains and…"Angels?" (Our Christmas Miracle)

For three months we counted the days until our Oregon boys would arrive in Arizona for Christmas. The Big Day was supposed to be last Monday, December 22nd. But we didn’t count on Portland getting record snows and all flights being canceled. Hubby spent all morning that day monitoring the airport situation and trying to help them find alternative transportation. He checked flights out of Seattle – booked up. He considered Spokane, but I-84 was closed. He discovered that there were plenty of flights out of Sacramento, but how to get the boys to Sacramento? Amtrak? Not running. Fly from Eugene? Not until after Christmas. Greyhound? No guaranteed seats – or departures. He finally settled on a rental car. They would have to put chains on it, but they could drive to Sacramento and catch a 6:00 a.m. flight on Tuesday. One problem: they had to have a major credit card (which our sons don’t have) and the rental company would not take my husband’s over the phone. Pastor B. to the rescue! He agreed to take the boys to the rental place and help them secure a car. Another glitch – hubby forgot that this particular rental place was off-site from the airport. By the time he remembered and called to tell Pastor and the boys, they had already been advised to take a shuttle to the rental place. The only people on the shuttle were the boys, Pastor and Mrs. B. – and another lady. They learned that this lady was also trying to get to Sacramento, where she lived…not too far from the airport. She offered to let the boys split the rental fee and ride with her. She would drop them off at the airport. When Pastor called Hubby to inform him of this new development, Hubby asked if the lady seemed “safe.” Pastor’s response was “absolutely!” The lady, who they learned was 55 and also a St. Louis Cardinal fan (that almost immediately makes her a saint with this family) shared driving duties with our 21 year old on what ended up being an almost 12 hour trip. They ran into heavy fog about 120 miles out of Sacramento and Hubby scurried to switch them to a later flight, but they arrived at the airport about 5:30. They ran to the gate and were allowed to get on the 6:00 flight. They arrived in Phoenix about 10:00 Tuesday morning – about 12 hours later than their originally scheduled arrival. This certainly wasn’t how we expected God to answer our prayers for a safe trip for them, but I think we were all once again amazed by how His plans are always far more awesome than ours – especially when they include a complete stranger named Pam – which in my book stands for Personal Angel Messenger! Pam was just the beginning of what turned out to be a truly wonderful holiday for us.


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