author atherton drenth

Atherton Drenth

03 June 2019

Divine intervention has been described as the hand of God reaching out and offering assistance. For anyone who has experienced divine intervention will agree the experience defies all explanations.
Over years of working with hundreds of clients from around the world I have found that just about everyone has had at least one story of divine intervention. Personally, I have had several. Divine intervention can be from spirit, an angel, an animal or a person who is just the right person, in the right place, at the right time.

One story I have never published and one I rarely tell is how I was saved by an angel while driving down a major highway during a snowstorm. It was 1980’s which was a time of high interest rates, companies down- sizing, huge pay cuts and record unemployment.Several of our friends had lost their business, others their jobs and a few had also lost their homes. We were on tenuous ground ourselves. Despite tight budgeting we were constantly struggling financially to keep a roof over our heads. We both felt like it was only a matter of time before it was going to happen to us.
It was a hectic and gruelling time in our lives, but we were counted ourselves lucky because we both still had jobs. Then one day, out of the blue I was offered a short-term management contract at a hospital in a small town about four hours from our home.

After massive pay cuts and working four part-time jobs for several years the contract looked like a miracle. It was too good to pass up. The contract meant a promotion, full time work, good pay, and steady hours. The downside was I had to live away from home from Monday to Thursday. The upside was I would be home every weekend to be with my family.

Despite my lack of experience in hospital management the board of directors were very pleased with my work. At their request the short-term contract was soon extended for a few more months. That meant travelling back and forth on a major highway in the dead of winter, which was not part of the original plan when I accepted the management contract.

Personally, I wasn’t worried. I mean, how hard could it be to travel on a well-maintained highway in the winter, I thought. My husband, who travelled all the time just smiled knowingly and said, “Just be careful, drive slow and you will be ok.”

One day the Director came to me and said, “I think you better plan on going home early. There is a bad storm coming and they are warning people to stay off the roads.” So, I quickly packed up and left. At first the highway wasn’t that bad. It was a well travelled six lane highway divided by a guard rail. Usually the highway was well ploughed and sanded but with each mile I travelled the visibility decreased due to blowing snow. The snowplows weren’t out yet and road conditions were quickly deteriorating.

As I continued to travel down the six-lane highway I stayed in the middle lane as it was the clearest part of the road. Other cars were passing me so I thought that it can’t be that bad if other people are travelling that fast. But I was anxious to get home and wasn’t watching how quickly I was driving as drove up a hill.

I increased my speed to ascend the hill. As I started to reach the top I realized I needed to slow down and gently tapped the break to slow down. My car started to fishtail, so I released the break just as I reached the crest of the hill. For just a short moment the car seemed to pause, and time seemed to stand still. Then the car started to travel down the other side of the hill.

As my car descended the hill it started to pick up speed. It suddenly dawned on me that the car was on black ice. I was losing control of the car as it started to accelerate down the steep incline of the hill. I remembered in driver’s education that if you hit black ice, to take your foot off the brake and to steer the car gently. I did just that. Time seemed to slow down. I became aware of this sensation of feeling like I was being an observer inside a bad movie. I watched the speedometer inch upwards as my car picked up speed. All I could do was hang on to the wheel and ride it out.

I remember looking up into my rear-view mirror and looking at the traffic cresting the top of the hill behind me. There were three cars, one in each lane mounting the crest at the same time. It looked like they had stopped to watch the horror show going on at the bottom of the hill. I thought to myself was calmly, “They are waiting for me to die.” I felt a sense of peace and relaxed.

At that moment my car started to spin. It was like being on a merry-go-round. I calmly looked at the sights as the car spun around and around. I looked at the grey metal of the guard rail that separated the six lanes of the highway and wondered what it would sound like when I hit it. I could see the horrified faces of drivers in the on-coming traffic travelling in the opposite direction and I felt sorry for them. And then there was this large white transport truck travelling right beside me. That was odd. I didn’t see that truck on any part of the highway as I spun around. “Where did that come from,” I wondered out loud.

Each time my car did another 360 it would just miss the truck and then just miss the guard rail. All my merry-go-round needed was music. I realized that when I hit the truck I was going to die. When that dawned on me I could see in my mind’s eye what it would look like if my car hit the truck. I would fly up into the air, slam into the guard rail and then get crushed under the tires of the truck. Death, I knew, would be instantaneous. At that moment I yelled out, “No, please God, I am not ready.”

The car suddenly stopped dead.

Very gently, as if floating on air, the car slowly slid to the side of the highway just lightly kissing the guard rail. The car came to a complete stop facing in the opposite direction. I sat there stunned looking towards coming traffic. All the cars had come to a dead stop on top of the hill. It was like someone had reached out, caught the car and picked it up and then very gently put it down on the side of the highway. I sat there for a brief moment aware of how close I had come to death. Quickly grabbing the wheel of the car, I spun it around to the face the right direction. With hands desperately clutching the steering wheel I white knuckled it all the way home, in the slow lane, sobbing.

A few weeks later my husband was in the same area for a meeting. It was a wonderful opportunity to spend some time together at my hotel for the evening. After dinner we decided to try out the hot tub. There were about eight of us sitting in there enjoying the heat and looking out through the windows that overlooked nearby highway. The snow was gently falling. Everyone sat in silence, enjoying the heat of the hot tub while admiring how beautiful it looked outside. One gentleman remarked, “You know a few weeks ago I witnessed a miracle. I was driving down that highway during that bad snowstorm we had. And there was this woman in a blue station wagon and her car just started spinning around and around, totally out of control. I remember slowing my car down and just waiting and thinking, man, that lady is dead. Her car spinning out on the highway she just misses this transport truck that is travelling beside her. Then all of sudden her car comes to dead stop up against the guard rail facing oncoming traffic. I have never seen anything like it. Man, she is lucky to be alive.”
I just sat there stunned. I said, “That was me!” That man looked over at me and said, “Lady, you have some hell of an angel looking after you.” I just smiled and nodded my head.

Another brush with death came a year later. The hospital contract successfully finished I was transferred to managing a doctor’s office undergoing renovations. Now back at home I was commuting by car along a different major highway that ran between Toronto and our home in Burlington. It was Friday afternoon rush hour. Traffic, as always was heavy but moving quickly. I was looking forward to the weekend as I drove along the highway. The sun was unusually bright that afternoon. It was hot and humid, so I turned the air conditioning on high. At that moment just as I looked up the traffic up ahead was splitting into two lanes. As I travelled closer I was stunned to see that there was a car stuck in the middle of the highway. Cars were madly veering on either side of the stalled car in an effort to avoid a collision.

The sun was in my eyes. Confused and half blinded, I blinked my eyes thinking I was seeing a mirage from the sunlight. But in that one split second the driver of the stalled car had jumped out and was running across the highway. Time slowed down. I couldn’t change lanes. People were swirling to miss the guy running back and forth. He was screaming. I froze. There was no where to go safely. That car was directly in my path and there was no room to change lanes. I prepared myself for the collision. Taking a deep breath, I said, “Dear God, please help me.”

Overcome with calmness my attention was shifted up to look out my rear-view mirror. Out of nowhere was a large transport truck all in white. There were no markings on the truck. The driver looked into my eyes. He started to angle his truck so that oncoming traffic had to drive around him and me. As his truck slowed down at 45-degree angle to my car, I noticed a second white transport truck right behind him. He also angled his truck at an additional 45-degree angle to the first truck. Their maneuvers effectively blocked two lanes of traffic giving me just enough of a window to slip into the fast lane. The driver of the stopped car was sobbing by the median as I whipped past him and his stopped car. It had been another brush with death. Those two truckers in the white, unmarked transports were angels sent by God.