Mysterious Ways: Blessing in a Box

It was just a simple box of cans and jars, but it ended up being so much more…

By Robert Whybrew, Sugar Grove, Illinois

I spotted the cardboard box sitting on my side of the garage. Again. Just waiting to be tripped over. I carried it over to my wife Jennifer’s side of the garage, searching for the perfect spot. Someplace she couldn’t ignore.

Aha! I slid open the driver’s side door to her minivan and stuffed the box on the backseat. I smiled to myself. Clearly I’d won this round.

This little game of ours had started with the best intentions. A few months earlier, Jennifer had put together a box of food to donate–canned goods, condiments, rice, even chocolate frosting. Our hands were more than a little full with three kids, and neither of us was willing to drive the extra 30 minutes to the food pantry.

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So we quietly bugged each other with the box instead–after 21 years of marriage, that’s how we battled! Maybe by putting the box in her car where she couldn’t miss it, Jennifer would finally be the one to drop it off.

A week after I’d put my “genius” plan into motion, I got a phone call at work. My 14-year-old daughter was hysterical.

“Daddy, we’ve been hit by a truck…” she sobbed. Jennifer and the kids were on their way home from the library, waiting at an intersection, when a truck ran a red light and crashed into the minivan.

Suddenly, our little passive-aggressive spat made me feel sick. What would I ever do if I lost Jennifer? I rushed to the scene of the accident and was greeted by a dozen emergency vehicles.

My wife’s shoulder was in bad shape, but other than some scrapes and bruises, everyone was okay. I couldn’t say the same for the minivan–the driver’s side had been completely smashed in. How had everyone made it out alive?

“Good thing all three kids were sitting on the passenger side,” one of the police officers said, as we surveyed the wreck.

That’s when I saw it. That box behind my wife’s seat, glass bottles shattered, cans dented, boxes crumpled and torn. Badly damaged–the way our children were not.

Our lovers’ quarrel? Looks like my wife and I both won.