It's tempting to ask angels to take care of all of our problems. But, in many cases, people are meant to be "earth angels," too. Bill Garvey knows this very well for he is a "giver." After 9/11, he and his family (and some helpers) carved an enormous pumpkin they had grown and put it into a pickup truck. Bill drove the pumpkin from Michigan to Ground Zero just to bolster the spirits of the workers there and make them smile.
Not too long ago, Bill was driving in freezing rain down US-80, about two hours from his home. He had been away for two days, and he couldn't wait to see his wife and children and sleep in his own bed. "I was daydreaming as I listened to the truck drivers on the CB radio talking back and forth," Bill remembers. "My ears perked up as I heard one of them say that, just ahead, there was a little old man and woman standing behind their car with the hood up. Someone needed to get them help or they were going to get hit, maybe even killed."
Almost immediately, Bill saw the elderly couple as he drove over a hill. They reminded him of his parents. "I remember thinking to myself, 'OK God, this is a test, right?'" He grabbed the CB radio and announced he would take care of the situation. As he pulled up behind the man and woman and put on his flashers, he could hear the truckers thanking him for taking the time to help. It gave him a warm feeling in the midst of a freezing day.
"As I opened my driver's door, the wind from a passing truck almost ripped the door from its hinges." He asked the shivering couple if he could help them, and he also explained that he was a mechanic. They were ecstatic.
"We've been here for over two hours," the gentleman said. "One trucker told us he would call for help--and it wouldn't take long for someone to come--but that was over an hour ago."
"We were so cold, but we were afraid to sit in the car in case no one saw us," the woman added, her cheeks red from the cold. "But, when it started to rain, we took turns."
Bill was appalled. They should never have gone through such an ordeal! He checked their car and saw that one of the fan belts had come apart, and it needed a pulley. "I can fix your car, but I don't have the part," Bill told them. "Come back to my truck and get warm."
Bill pushed the maps off his front seat and helped the couple into his truck. He turned the heater to "high." "It felt so good knowing that at least I could give them warmth." He carefully pulled back onto the turnpike and headed for the next toll station.
The couple were on their way to Michigan for an old friend's funeral, they explained. Bill offered to give them a ride all the way, but they declined. "You've done enough already," the man said. "And please stop before the tollbooth so you won't have to pay twice. Just drop us off here."
"You've been through enough," Bill told them. "I'm not leaving until we have things arranged." He paid the toll, then parked and escorted them into the toll station. There was no store nearby where Bill could buy the needed part, but soon a mechanic had been contacted and was on his way.
The couple accompanied Bill out to his truck and stood there as he got in and opened a window to say goodbye. "The old man walked up to the door and reached through my window, putting his hand on mine. He asked me, 'Son, are you a religious man?' Bill recalled.
"I told him that I believed in God, but admitted I didn't go to church as much as I should."
"Well," said the gentleman, "a moment before you came, my wife and I had asked God to send us an angel." He looked deeply into Bill's eyes. "And He did. Son, today you are an angel."
Bill has never forgotten that encounter. "I will never forget the love I felt from the owners of a car I could not fix...."
There's no doubt he passed the test.