Our Van broke down as we were returning from a two-week tour performing in California. We pulled into a big empty parking lot to assess what we should do. It was late and obviously we couldn't drive any further. My sweet husband rented a motel room a few blocks away, for our three small children and I, then left to see what could be done to get the van running again. He was able to get the part we needed just down the road.
He was lying underneath our vehicle on a piece of discarded cardboard, working to cinch the new part down onto the engine. He soon discovered he needed someone to hold the piece he was working on, from above. He was about to give up in frustration, when he sent up a prayer.
A few minutes later, as my husband grimly wrestled with the impossible task, he heard a voice. "Looks like you need some help there, young fella."
Alan said he thought at first it was an old farmer. My husband could see the man's friendly smile--tooth-white in his brown seamed face--from where he lay on the parking lot. Then a weathered, sun-warmed hand reached down, to hold the part in place.
A moment later the job was done. My husband quickly climbed out from under the van, to thank the elderly man who had helped him.
But strangely enough--in the middle of that huge empty parking lot--the helpful old man was nowhere to be found.
An angel? I have no doubt in my mind. Angels seem to show up exactly the moment one needs help. They seem quite ordinary, until they vanish without a trace.