Escaping a Madman With God's Help

Reprinted with permission from "Divine Interventions."

The car, cruising down Monterey Boulevard, swerved suddenly onto the Highway 1 exit ramp and sped out of town into the night. The driver, Lee, a 40-year-old South Vietnamese soldier, turned to his lone female passenger, a 20-year-old foreign student from Beijing. "I have a gun," he said. "Do what I say or I'll kill you!"

Lee was a busboy in the Chinese restaurant where Jenny worked as a waitress. One of her co-workers always drove her home after work. But, Lee who had offered her a ride home tonight, had another plan. Jenny watched her abductor in terror as he turned to her, his face illuminated by the dashboard lights. His left eye gleamed crazily--his right eye was gone, a maimed slit of pink flesh, ruined in the war.

Lee spoke again, his voice harsh. "I'm going to rape you and dump you in a field. Obey me if you want to live."

Jenny had come to America seeking a new life. Now, on this dark night, it seemed the remainder of her life might be counted in minutes as Lee's car speed along the pitch-black highway.

"I don't want to die!" she murmured, her eyes filling with tears.

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Desperately, Jenny searched for options, knowing she was no match for this experienced combat veteran. Looking down at her door, she considered leaping out of the car, but at this sped, the fall would surely kill her.

Seeing her gaze toward the door, Lee roared, "You can't open the door. It's automatic lock!"

Jenny had ridden in a few cars and didn't know whether to believe him or not. Then, oddly, a minor incident from a week before flashed through her mind. Jenny, still struggling with English, working two jobs, missing her family, and feeling out of place in America, must have let her sadness show in her face, because a young woman she was waiting on at the restaurant said to her before leaving, "You look really unhappy--you really ought to try praying. It works."

Jenny had found these do-gooder words irritating--she would have preferred a generous tip. What was the use of mumbling superstitious words to some imaginary God? In China, the Party had taught her that religious people were weak and fearful-mental cripples believing in fairy tales. She believed, like Marx, that religion was the opiate of the masses.

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Dan Millman and Doug Childers
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