“I’ve been called into the clinic today,” Mom answered, “and you’ve got to
go in with me. You can walk to Grandma’s from there. Please get up and
dress quickly.” Mom tossed a scarf and pair of gloves at her. “Make sure
you put these on.”
Brooklyn groaned and glanced out the window. It was snowing hard—so no
school. While most kids would be watching TV or sledding together, she
would be stuck at Grandma’s house.
“Can you explain one more time why the clinic stays open during
snowstorms?” she muttered.
“People still get sick and have emergencies during bad weather,” Mom told
her. “We have to stay open. Now get dressed. Breakfast is ready!”
While Brooklyn scarfed down toast spread with peanut butter and topped with
sliced bananas, Mom read a chapter aloud from the Bible. Then she prayed,
asking God to protect them.
Brooklyn closed her eyes, but she felt awkward and strange. Morning worship
was new to her. She had gone to church with Grandma once, but they had
never had any kind of devotions until Mom began working for two Christian
doctors at the clinic.
Mom had shared how these doctors prayed with patients. She began attending
their church. Then she quit buying Pop-Tarts for breakfast and substituted
granola or homemade waffles. Brooklyn really didn’t know what to think
about that. Even if God was real, did He really care what they ate for
breakfast? Mom said He cared about everything.
Once in the van, Mom prayed again—this time for protection as they drove on
the slippery roads. Really, Mom? Brooklyn thought.
You go from no prayer at all to talking to God about everything—from
Pop-Tarts to driving.
Her eyes opened wide at a sudden thought. Maybe her mom was going crazy!
She’d heard about fanatics before.
The clinic sat on a small hill, which sloped steeply behind the parking
lot. Mom sighed with relief as they drove behind the building. “Since we’re
the first ones here,” she said, “I’m going to back the van into my spot.
That way I’ll be facing forward when we leave. It will be easier to drive
forward on ice.”
“There’s a steep bank behind us, ” Brooklyn warned her. “Don’t back too
far, or we will slide down and land on the railroad tracks below.”
“There’s a cement parking guard between us and the embankment,” Mom assured
her. “No worries.” She gently pushed down on the gas, but there was no
traction on the ice, so she had to press on the pedal to give it some more
gas. The van lurched onto the icy grass and began sliding down the hill.
Everything happened so fast. The back end of the van went downhill, and the
front end went up in the air. If Mom couldn’t stop the van, they would land
on the tracks and then be flattened by the train!
“Mom!” Brooklyn screamed.
“Jesus!” Mom yelled. Then her hand grabbed for the emergency brake
and pulled hard. The front tires landed with a thud on the ground as Mom
jerked the gear out of reverse and into forward.
Seconds later they were back on the blacktop. They both sat in shock for a
minute before jumping out to see why they didn’t stop at the guard. The
width between the tires was slightly wider than the length of the concrete
guard. The tires went by the ends of the guard instead of coming to rest
They both stared at the railroad tracks below. “I can’t believe what just
happened,” Brooklyn said as tears slid down her face and mingled with the
icy snow. “We came within an inch of losing our lives!”
“I’m so thankful that God saved us,” Mom said. “Did you hear me scream out
Brooklyn grinned. “Are you kidding? The whole neighborhood heard you.”
Still shaking, they hugged each other goodbye. Brooklyn grabbed her
backpack to take to Grandma’s.
On a whim she glanced back at the tire tracks heading down the hill, still
visible in the new-fallen snow. She made up her mind that when Mom had
worship tomorrow, she’d pay attention.