Valued readers know of my proclivity for the inexplicable aspects of this brief lifetime we share. I've come to refer to these remarkable events as GodNods, which have struck me as divine intervention or providence rather than coincidence.
In many instances they appear as intentional actions, from beyond time and space, that alter the course of a person's life in a variety of ways.
Here are additional GodNods recently related by readers.
Charles Blevins of North Little Rock wrote that during the early 1980s while in his mid-30s, he owned and often rode a motorcycle. "One Saturday morning, I got on my bike and headed for west Little Rock. I got off of Interstate 30 at the Ninth Street exit in the vicinity of downtown Little Rock and immediately turned west on Eighth Street, a three-lane, one-way street going west.
"I was in the left lane, a pickup was in the middle lane, and another vehicle was in the right lane, all of us in a row.
"Immediately after I turned left on this one-way street, what I can only describe as an inaudible voice in my mind began warning me that Broadway, a few blocks ahead, was a blind corner and that if someone ran the traffic light from my left, I couldn't see it until I was actually in the intersection when it would be too late to stop.
"The traffic lights approaching Broadway were timed so that we didn't have to stop and the closer we got to the intersection at Broadway, the 'louder' the voice in my mind became, almost like it was shouting at me. As we approached the intersection, I was literally terrified and simply braked to a stop while the truck on my right and the vehicle on the other side kept going because the light was green.
"I will never forget (and can still see in my mind's eye) the blank look on the face of an African American lady in a yellow Ford Gran Torino as she ran the light and smashed into the pickup that I had just been riding alongside, knocking the truck into the vehicle on his right. The lady who ran the light was taken to a hospital in an ambulance.
"Had I not been warned, she would have hit me first, pinning me against the truck, and she was going at least 30 miles an hour. Had I not braked to a stop at Broadway, I would not be typing these words because I would have been dead now for over 38 years. So I know, without a shadow of doubt, that God saved my life that day. I've had other life-changing moments with God, but that was by far the most dramatic.
"I've told this story many times and invariably the agnostic and/or atheist will try and posit some 'natural' source of the warning I was given, which is absolutely ludicrous. I've driven through countless intersections in my 60 years as a licensed driver and have never once been hit by a driver running a red light or stop sign. But the one and only time that I would have--and almost certainly would not have survived had I not been warned--God warned me and saved my life."
Blevins' GodNod brought to mind a similar event told by a woman close to me two decades ago.
Ruthie O'Neal had eased to a traffic stop one afternoon where she waited patiently for the red light to turn green. Being an impulsive type, she usually made it a habit of accelerating rapidly from such stops. For her, quick starts had become the norm.
But as she waited on this fateful afternoon, an urgent and audible voice from out of the air loudly cautioned her to "wait!" just as the light changed. She obeyed the mysterious admonition, pausing several seconds before entering the intersection. In that short period, a truck traveling at a high rate of speed ran the light and came barreling through the intersection, barely missing a more trusting driver who had rapidly pulled away with the green light.
"There was no question I would have been not only smashed, but likely badly injured or killed had I not instinctively obeyed that strange voice," she told me. "One can call it a guardian angel or a nod from God. But that insistent voice from out of nowhere knew what was about to happen and saved me from it."
Speaking of angels, anyone else see the stunning photograph of brilliant light bars outside the door of the hospital room of a disabled 14-year-old girl who wasn't expected to survive the night?
Captured on the Charlotte, N.C., hospital's security cameras, the lights about the size of a human figure also were seen by hospital staffers, although the lights couldn't be photographed on the cell phone belonging to the girl's mother.
The daughter's condition immediately improved with the arrival of what was afterwards referred to as her guardian angel.
As you might suspect, I prefer calling that mystical experience another GodNod. Have your own to share? Email me.
Now go out into the world and treat everyone you meet exactly like you want them to treat you.
Mike Masterson is a longtime Arkansas journalist, was editor of three Arkansas dailies and headed the master's journalism program at Ohio State University. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.