The kids loved the playground. My seven-year-old and five-year-old took turns careening down the twisty slide, my three-year-old tottered across the wobble bridge, and my one-year-old giggled as I pushed her in the bucket swing.
Normally keeping an eye on four kids was tough, but we were the only ones at the Salina, Kansas, city park on such a dreary winter day.
A cold drop landed on my head. Soon it was drizzling. “Okay kids, time to go!” I ushered them to our aging Volkswagen bus, unlocked it and opened the sliding door.
The door slipped its track. It fell off and slammed down on the wet asphalt.
I couldn’t drive without a door! How long would we be stuck here? There wasn’t a soul in sight, and I had no way to contact anyone. Lord, what do I do?
A voice startled me. “Looks like it’s time for a new van.”
The man had appeared out of nowhere. Instinctively I stood in front of the kids. The stranger laughed. “Ma’am, I’m here to help,” he said. “Let me fix that door.” In a minute, he got the door back into place. He tested it. “All good now,” he said.
My one-year-old bolted toward the swings. “Hey!” I shouted. I ran and scooped her up before she got far. Then I turned back to thank the stranger. He was gone.
Was he an angel? When we finally retired the bus several years later, only one part was still working. That sliding door.
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