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You never know when you are entertaining Angels.
An Excerpt from the forthcoming book “The Skin I’m In – Memoirs of an Intimate Spiritual Journey with God”
By Jewel Tyler
After my son totaled my car in an accident, I was without a vehicle, he felt so horrible about it, but I told him I was going to be okay. The car had been a gift in the first place, because my van’s engine had caught on fire one evening returning home from work and when my cousin found out he gave me an old Honda Accord so I could get back and forth to work. At that time, I was working in Herndon, VA and I lived in Silver Spring, Maryland. Where my job was located public transportation was not readily available to allow me to commute to and from work.
Right after the car accident a friend of mine had called and I had explained to her what had just happened, I told her I had to go because I had to go into prayer about this situation. I needed my job; my boss allowed me to work from home some days but not every day. I immediately called the office and left him a voice mail message letting him know that I was going to work from home the next day and what had occurred with my car. The next day, he called and said it would be a problem if I did not find some form of transportation to get to work, it was okay that I worked from home today but not on a continual basis. That afternoon my girlfriend came by and said the Lord had put it on her heart to give me her truck. She had two vehicles and one of them was a Ford Explorer. She signed over the title and the next day I registered the vehicle, God had blessed, I was able to get to work.
When I did not have to go into the office I spent most of my time on the road traveling to a different city in the U.S. to teach the company’s software to their clients.
There was really only one problem with the truck the gas gauge did not work, therefore I never knew how much gas was actually in the truck. On one of my trips, I had rushed to the airport, because I had overslept and almost missed my flight. Once I was done with my trip and returned home and picked up my truck from the airport parking lot it was very early in the morning around 2:00 am. After being gone for a week, I could not remember whether or not I had put gas in the truck before leaving town. I looked at the gas station as I exited the airport parking lot but did not stop. It was very cold, and I despise cold weather. I figured I would make it home and then in the morning when I have to go out to do my shopping I would fill up the gas tank.
I have always been a person that likes to take short cuts and back roads to get to my destinations. On this particular night that is exactly what I did, I took the back roads to get home. I turned on a very dark back road and the truck started stalling and finally died. Right in the middle of the road and there were no street lights, just woods all around me. I got out of the truck and pushed it over to the side of the road so that I would not be sitting right in the middle of the street.
Earlier that day I had spoken to my brother Tony that was living with me, checking in to see how things were going at home and to let him know I would be coming home that evening and what time my flight would be landing. He asked me to please call him when I pulled into the parking lot because he wanted to come downstairs to help me with my luggage and to walk with me from my truck to the apartment, because he said several women in our apartment complex and community and been attacked and raped that week, it had been all over the news.
I checked my cell phone and I did not have many bars left of a signal or power. I tried calling home over and over again, no answer. I sat trying to figure out who I could call at that hour of the morning for help, no one! I could not charge the cell phone because the truck had no power and it was getting colder and colder in the truck. A car passed by and slowed down right beside my truck and then pulled off. I called my mother who lived almost an hour and a half , away and told her what was going on, I explained to her I was not calling for her to get out of bed to try to come help me but if she could keep calling my house to try to reach my brother. I didn’t know what he could really do at that time because he did not have a car or any money probably. Once again the same car drove by and did the same thing slowed down and then drove off. At this point, I guess I started panicking because all I could hear was my brother’s conversation earlier that day concerning the rapist. Finally, my brother called my cell phone, I explained to him what was going on, he said my mother had reached him and he wanted to know what he could do to help, I asked him, to see if he could call for a cab to come get him and to come get me and see if we could together figure out what was going on with the truck. But I knew in my heart it was out of gas. He agreed and explained that he had caught the flu and had taken some Ny-Quill that is why he did not answer the phone he was asleep and he still did not sound too coherent.
At this point, I was freezing, I know the temperature had to be below zero with the wind chill factor and the wind was howling outside of the truck, the car returned once again and slowed up and drove off. This time, I buttoned up my coat and put it over my head and began to breathe heavily into the coat to warm my body. I started praying and I asked God to please protect me out here on this deserted road and to please send forth an Angel to help me. As I ended my prayer, I heard a siren go off, when I peeked my head out of my coat there were two police cars. I started praising God, the same car drove up again that had passed me by three times, and the window rolled down and it was an elderly black woman, she said “you gone be okay now baby, I know you freezing in that truck, I went home and called the police to come help you. I kept driving by to make sure you were okay and still here until the police came. God bless you honey.” I thanked her and she drove off.
An Asian officer approached the truck and asked me what was the problem, I explained to him that I thought I had probably ran out of gas and that my gas gauge was not functioning. He asked what could he do to help, I asked if he could go and get me some gas, I had the money to pay for it. He asked if I had a gas container and I said no, but I always have drank a lot of water and in the back seat of my car I had an empty gallon water jug I gave him that and asked if he could fill it up. The other officer stayed parked next to my car but never offered me to get into the squad car with her to warm up, I didn’t care at this point, help had arrived that was the important factor. I wrapped back up under my coat to warm myself awaiting the return of the officer.
Finally the officer arrived with the gas and my change but he told me I had to put the gas in my truck myself, he could not do it because if he spilled gas on my truck or something happened I could sue the police department. I put the gas in my truck, and started the truck. I thanked the officers and proceeded home.
When I turned the corner that lead to my apartment complex, I noticed a young man standing at the bus stop, with no coat on. I thought to myself, oh my God sweetie, don’t you know that no buses run this time of morning and where is his coat?
I had been contemplating with myself if whether or not I was simply going to head home or stop and fill up my gas tank, because the gas station was right at the corner behind the bus stop where this gentleman was standing.
The Holy Spirit spoke ever so softly to me, fill up your gas tank now. Well, I was not going to be disobedient; I pulled into the gas station and pulled up to the pump. There was a line at the window of people paying for gas and other items. I was startled by a young man asking if I had an extra coat or blanket in my car that I could give him, it was the young man from the bus stop. I could see that he had tear drops frozen on his face and mucous that had drained from his nose down on his lips that was frozen. I told him “no I did not have a blanket or an extra coat,” but I explained to him that no buses ran this time of morning, and I asked “why are you standing at the bus stop?” I paid for my gas and we continued to talk as we both proceeded to my truck, he started explaining to me that a police officer had come by earlier to put some gas in a water jug and he had asked him for help and he continued explaining his conversation with the officer “you know he had to have a blanket or something but he wouldn’t even stop to talk to me or help me.” I shook my head and said “my Lord,” I explained to him that the police officer was helping me; I had ran out of gas and had been sitting in my truck freezing. And it hit my Spirit like a ton of bricks, (but you at least had the shelter of your vehicle and a coat to cover you what does he have?). I asked him if he needed some money to catch a cab where he needed to go. He replied “I have nowhere to go, I was evicted today, I got laid off from my job and was not able to pay my rent for the past couple of months.” Boy did I know how that felt I had just went through that and had lost my house, and then got my apartment and was laid off again, and finally got the job I was currently working on and almost lost my apartment in the process. But God blessed me right on time every time.
I told him to get into my truck so he could warm up. He offered to pump my gas, and I told him no, because he just had on a T-shirt and jeans in this freezing cold weather. He got in the truck and I turned the heat up full blast, he was shivering so horribly, I took off my coat and covered his body and continued to pump my gas. While I was outside pumping my gas, I was thinking Lord what do you want me to do, I know you had us to cross paths for a reason, it is not just a coincidence that this young man tried to seek assistance from the same officer that was helping me and we were both in the cold freezing, you blessed and helped me so how can I help him? I got into the truck and as he was getting ready to give me my coat and get out of the truck I told him no, I have an idea. I live up the street and I have an abandoned car if you like you can sleep in it I will get blankets for you. (Okay, you know that was my flesh speaking not God). So, I called my brother and asked him to come and meet me outside and bring every blanket he could find in my house outside with him. I told him don’t even ask I will explain when I get there. When I arrived my brother was standing outside of the building with a large pile of blankets, I explained to him what was going on and introduced him to the young man his name was Dewayne, he looked like he was in his early twenties. He got in the car and covered up with all of the blankets. My brother asked me to take him back to the gas station to get some juice to drink. I did and when we were on our way back to the apartment, we didn’t say a word, and it was as if it hit us both at the same time. We looked at each other and my brother said “Sis I am not going to sleep anytime soon, and I said “neither am I” “Let’s get him out of that car and into the house, this is crazy.”
When we arrived at the apartment and parked my truck and retrieved my luggage we stopped by the car and woke up Dewayne and gathered all of the blankets and told him to come into the house, it was just too cold for him to even sleep in the car. He followed us into the apartment, he could not stop thanking us over and over. Once inside the apartment, I made up the sofa for him to sleep on in my den. My brother invited him into the kitchen and offered him some dinner, he refused and I encouraged him to eat, I told him my brother was an excellent cook and if he had not eaten anything all day, he really needed to eat and I also fixed some hot herbal tea for him to drink. After awhile when the food started heating up, he stopped refusing and had dinner and drank a couple of cups of the hot tea. He talked with my brother explaining to him about how the police officer had come and how it was just a coincidence it was the same officer helping me. And how rare it is today for someone to come and help a person like we were doing for him, he broke down and began to cry telling us about how is father had abandoned him and all of the problems he had experienced in his life. We comforted him and told him how God works, and there are good, God fearing people that just have unconditional love and compassion for all humans period.
I took my suitcase to my bedroom and started removing my clothing and separating what had to go to the cleaners and what I had to wash the next day. Because I would be off again to another city Sunday afternoon. I was interrupted by my brother; he came to tell me that he was going to walk Dewayne out to the car he was insisting that he needed to get his deodorant from my car that had fell out of his pocket. I went into the living room and asked him why was it so urgent for him to get his deodorant, I told him “honey you need to get some rest,” he persisted that I offered him so much help and assistance he just did not feel right, he began to ramble, finally I told my brother take him to the car and gave him the keys.
After finishing with my clothing I returned to the living room and started watching the news channel on cable. It dawned on me my brother had been gone for quite some time. I looked out of my bedroom window which faces the parking lot; I did not see them by the car. So, I returned to the living room, more time passed my brother and Dewayne had not returned, I started to become a bit concerned, but I knew in my heart my brother was fine. As more time passed and finally my brother returned to the apartment, when he entered the living room, he had a perplexed look on his face. I looked behind him, no Dewayne; I asked my brother, where was Dewayne and what on earth was wrong with him? He just stood there like he was in shock, he said that he went to the car with Dewayne, opened the car for him. My brother said he proceeded back to the apartment building because it was so cold outside, when he turned back around, Dewayne was nowhere to be found. He walked back to the car no Dewayne. The way the apartment complex was situated, my building was located at a dead end it was gated with a high fence and there was another apartment complex right next to ours as well. He looked all over the parking lot, down the hill, no Dewayne. He said “it was as if he vanished in thin air.”
We both just sat on the sofa silently trying to figure out what had just happened, then a scripture came to me, I retrieved my bible from my bedroom and my brother went to get his bible, the scripture was Matthew 25:35 - for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in.” We both just sat there silent, I went to bed and I don’t think my brother nor I slept for the rest of the morning.
The strangest thing was the next day when I went out to do my shopping and drove down the hill I did not see where anyone had been evicted, in the state of Maryland when an individual is evicted the Sheriff comes and they place your belonging on the street. I guess I will never forget the visitor on that very cold morning, for quite some time; every time I drove past that gas station and that bus stop I could see Dewayne standing there that morning freezing.