It was the early Seventies, I was going to college at Southern Oregon University. It was a time of great social upheaval and cultural change. I met a girl from California and we became friends. Wendy was a kind and loving person and had a quality of innocence about her. She asked me if I would go with her to see a friend in Arcata, California. I asked her how we were going to get there. She said, “We’ll just hitchhike.”
That didn’t sound too great to me. I had hitchhiked once while at college and it was only for a few miles. That time, a friend and I were riding in the back of a pickup. I didn’t feel safe and did not want to stay in the truck and so my friend and I got out at a stoplight a few minutes down the road. I expressed my doubts to her, but she convinced me to go. Her plan was to only take rides from women. It sounded somewhat logical to my teenage mind and so I went.
At first, everything went well. We got rides from women and were well on our way down the Redwood Highway. Our last ride left us on the road while it was still light. As time passed, no one suitable came by and we were left standing on the side of the road as it began to get dark. We were totally unprepared to spend the night outside and had not taken sleeping bags or blankets to keep us warm. Neither did we take flashlights or matches.
I was beginning to get worried and was very unhappy that I had chosen to go with Wendy. I’m sure I was thinking that if I ever got out of this situation, I would never hitchhike again. It grew dark and a car stopped. We looked inside and there were two young men with blond hair and crew cuts in the car. They looked different from the students we went to school with. They were very clean cut and looked safe and responsible.
We got in the car; it seemed like our only choice at the time. As we introduced ourselves, they told us they were Marines on leave from Camp Pendleton in San Diego, California. I told them that my brother was a Marine and where he was stationed at the time. Their level of concern for us immediately went up a notch. Because I was the sister of a fellow Marine, they felt an obligation to take us exactly where we needed to go. They wanted to make sure we made it to Arcata safe and sound.
We arrived in Arcata late that night. I slept on the floor of the dormitory where Wendy’s friend was staying. I remember thinking how God had taken care of us by bringing those two young men along that deserted highway at just the right time. Were they actual Marines or God’s angels sent to take care of two very foolish girls? I will never know, but I will always be grateful for the ride they provided and the concern they showed us that night. It is an experience I will never forget.
How about you? Has God provided for you in extraordinary circumstances? I would love to hear your story. I’m sure God’s angels have looked after each and every one of us. They surely walk among us, for as the Scripture says, “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels.” Hebrews 13:2.