She was struggling to help her husband rescue their boat from roiling, stormy waters. Would her prayers for divine assistance be answered?
Knuckles white, I gripped the sides of our ski boat. The storm had hit with almost no warning and we were being tossed about like a cork, the wind and waves threatening to capsize us.
“We’ve got to get back to the dock,” Phil yelled over the gale. We’re veteran boaters. Not easily panicked. My husband and I were fighting for our lives.
From the middle of Kaw Lake, a massive body of water in northeast Oklahoma, I looked to where we had put in that morning, hoping to enjoy the day exploring the lake’s many coves. But, now, with the rain coming down in sheets, I couldn’t see a thing. No way my husband could either.
We inched blindly through the water for what seemed an eternity. Finally, I saw a bridge ahead. The dock was just past it. “The bridge!” I yelled. “We’re almost there!”
Phil eased the boat under the bridge, a momentary reprieve from the rain. “On top of everything, I think the steering cables have gone,” he said. “I can barely control the boat. There’s no way you’re going to be able to pilot it into the dock. Not in this wind.”
My chest tightened. That was our routine. My husband backed the truck and trailer down to the dock. Then I steered the boat onto the trailer, which would be submerged in the water. But if I couldn’t steer...
WHAP!!! A giant wave slapped against the boat, pushing us straight toward the rocks that lined the shore. “If we don’t get out of here the boat’s gonna be torn apart,” Phil shouted.
We headed back into open water. Every muscle in my body tensed as I strained to see the dock. Finally, I spied it, dead ahead.
Phil motioned for me to come to him. “You’re going to have to back the trailer down,” he said. “It’s the only way. I’ll steer the boat in.”
“No,” I protested. “You know I can’t do that.” The few times I’d tried the trailer would always fishtail crazily. I couldn’t keep it straight. I preferred to take my chances with the boat, even with the steering shot.
Phil’s eyes met mine. “You can do it,” he said. “There’s no other choice. I’m going to drive the boat as close to the dock as I dare, and you’ll have to jump. There won’t be much time.”
The dock was coming up fast, much too fast. “Slow down,” I yelled.
“I can’t,” Phil yelled. “Jump! Now!”
I leaped, grabbing the railing with my hands, but my feet missed. Dangling from the side of the dock I watched helplessly as the boat hurtled toward me, pushed by the waves. It slammed hard against my left leg, smashing me against the dock. The boat released as the wave retreated and with all my strength I hoisted myself up, pain shooting through my body.
I jumped to my feet, ran to the truck and grabbed the keys from under the mat. I turned the key in the ignition. “God, please help me get this thing down the ramp,” I prayed.
I put the truck in reverse and slowly backed up. The trailer immediately jackknifed to the left. I pulled forward. This time I went a few feet before the trailer cut sharply to the left. I tried again and again. Same thing. I could see my husband in the lake, going in circles, trying to stay close to the dock, but not so close for the wind to push him into the rocks. I needed help. I looked around the parking lot, but it was empty. My husband waved his arms at me frantically.
God send me two angels. One for each side of the trailer to hold it straight. I pictured it in my mind.
Focus. I put my arm on the back of the seat so I’d have a clear view. A few feet. Then a little bit more. So far so good. Then...ugh...the trailer jackknifed left again. It was hopeless. I put my head in my hands.
“You look like you could use some help.” I lifted my head. Two women stood beside the truck, seemingly unfazed by the pounding rain. They were dressed identically, in shorts and windbreakers. I wondered for a second if I was seeing double. “I think I can back it down,” one of the women said. “Do you mind if I give it a try?”
“Please,” I said. I slid over to the passenger seat and she got in. The other woman walked down the ramp, guiding the driver.
The driver backed the trailer straight down the ramp on her first try. Like it was nothing.
I jumped out of the truck to help my husband, grabbing the boat’s tow rope and clicking it into the trailer. Cranking the handle to bring it in, the boat slid onto the trailer effortlessly. Phil climbed over the side. I could feel his arm trembling as he clutched my hand, both of us safe on the dock.
“Land never felt so good,” Phil muttered. He looked past me toward the truck. “I thought I saw someone help you down the ramp.”
“Yes,” I said. The two amazing ladies. I turned around to face them. “But they were just here,” I said.
Baffled, we got in the truck and headed home, our eyes peeled for the pair who’d saved us. Somehow they’d disappeared without our thanks. “I prayed for two angels,” I told Phil. That was just what we’d gotten.
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