The ring proved to be a symbol of God's power to answer the prayers of those in need.
- Posted on Nov 19, 2013
“Get in the car!” the hooded figure yelled. He jammed the barrel of his gun into Elizabeth Metzler’s side.
The 30-year-old teacher from Colorado Springs had stopped by Target that evening to pick up toothpaste and shampoo. She was getting into her car when two hooded men in ski masks emerged from the shadows. She caught a glimpse of the gun in the silver moonlight. It looked cold and terrifying.
She screamed, but it was closing time on a Sunday night. There wasn’t another soul in sight.
The men shoved Elizabeth into the backseat of her old red two-door Saab. The gunman pushed in next to her, cursing under his breath. The other man climbed into the driver’s seat.
“Whaddya got?” he demanded.
“Only my paycheck,” Elizabeth gasped. She’d just signed it, hoping to find an ATM to make a deposit. The gunman grabbed the check.
“What else you got?” he said. He looked down at the gold ring on her left hand. “Gimme that!” Elizabeth hesitated. She felt the gun press harder into her side. Not my ring, she thought. Anything but my ring.
She remembered the envelope, the note. She’d received them more than two years before, but the image was still clear in her mind. “God loves you, buy yourself a ring,” the note said, and inside the envelope were two crisp hundred-dollar bills.
She would never forget the woman who had given them to her. Petite, with long blonde hair and a worn-looking face. All Elizabeth knew about her was that she was a single mom who worked as a waitress.
They were both in a class for young, single women at church, and the teacher had urged them to wear a ring as a symbol of their commitment to God’s will. Elizabeth couldn’t afford one. She was just getting by on a minimum-wage job.
She tried to refuse the gift, but the woman insisted. “God wants you to have it,” she said.
Elizabeth found a jewelry store and asked to see a traditional Irish claddagh ring. She inspected the ornate design from every angle. The hands on each side of the band. The heart at the center, topped with a crown.
When she tried it on, it just felt right. How could she ever repay the kind stranger for such a gift?
A year later, Elizabeth landed a better job, working at a foreclosure firm. One afternoon, a distraught woman walked into her office. She owed money on her mortgage and the payment was late. She was short $140—money she just didn’t have.
“Do I know you from somewhere?” Elizabeth asked.
“No,” the woman said. She seemed perplexed, but Elizabeth persisted.
“Are you sure? You look like a woman who gave me money to buy my ring.”
The woman looked harder and then smiled. “That was me!” she said. “It was the strangest urge I ever had!”
“Wait here one second,” Elizabeth said. She rushed to get her wallet from her handbag and gave the woman the cash for the mortgage.
Now Elizabeth looked down at her ring. There was something so special about it. It was more than a token of her commitment to God. It was a symbol of his power to answer the prayers of those in need.
It was worth nothing to these hoodlums. They’d be lucky if they could pawn it for a fraction of its value. But Elizabeth wanted to live. She twisted the ring off and dropped it into the gunman’s hand, certain she would never see it again. She felt bare without the ring. Vulnerable.
“Don’t move!” the man barked. “Keep your hands where we can see them!”
They drove in circles, going in and out of a shopping plaza. The gunman grew agitated. “Let’s take her to the place,” he said to the driver.
They headed down a busy highway. The place? What did that mean? What were they going to do to her? Elizabeth prayed, a desperate, wordless plea to God.
“Hold on,” the driver hissed, looking over his shoulder. “Is that a cop?”
Yes! A police car had moved into their lane. The driver panicked. He hit the gas and ran a red light. The cop followed in hot pursuit, lights flashing and siren screaming.
“Go, go!” the gunman shouted. They made a sharp turn onto a dirt road and drove uphill toward a park. The old car wobbled and shook. At the end of the road, the driver jerked the car to a stop, jumped out and ran into the park. The gunman leapt out of the backseat and took off too.
Elizabeth sat frozen in fear until the officer approached the car.
“Are you all right, ma’am?” he asked. Elizabeth nodded. But she wasn’t. The robbers had escaped. She reported what was stolen, giving a detailed description of the ring.
She remembered that her home address was on her paycheck. What if the men came after her? She couldn’t identify them—she’d never seen their faces.
The police admitted they had little to go on.
Elizabeth stayed with family, terrified to go home. A week later, she received a phone call. The police had tracked down both the thieves, and they were in custody.
“Are you sure it’s them?” Elizabeth asked.
“There’s a crucial piece of evidence,” the detective told her. Something found on the gunman’s girlfriend, assuring that the hooded kidnappers would be put behind bars for a long time. A small gold ring, with two hands clasped protectively over a crowned heart.
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