Lightning Bolts and Saints


My brother, Rob, is gifted with a quick wit and great sense of humor.  He also can deliver a story or joke with the perfect amount of flair to evoke laughter by nearly anyone who listens.

Rob teasingly nicknamed me Saint Diane.  He suggests that I have a direct line to God.  I’m not sure how that came about, but on one occasion, he felt he had confirmed his belief.

My husband and I were riding with my brother and his wife on our way to Branson, Missouri, one of our favorite vacation spots.  We were near Rolla, Missouri and Rob reminisced about being pulled over by a State Highway Patrol on the same stretch of highway while on his way to his honeymoon destination nearly 40 years earlier.

Rob bragged that he was able to avoid a speeding ticket by pleading with the officer and telling a “little white lie” about enrolling in the police academy upon his return from his honeymoon.  The kind-hearted office let his go with a warning and his best wishes.

After listening to his embellished story, my husband, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, sarcastically inquired, “Now haven’t you felt terrible about that lie all these years?”

Bob chuckled and responded with strong exaggeration, “Oh, it has always weighed heavy on my mind!”  They both laughed heartily.

Sitting in the back seat, I pointed my finger toward my brother and said, “Put the lightning up there God.”

No more than five seconds had passed when my husband leaned forward and looked up toward a low flying plane that passed over the van in which we were riding.

“Did you see that?”  My husband’s question was nearly drowned out by the sound of sirens closing in behind us.

Rob looked at the speedometer and realized he had been speeding. “Why did you have to get Him involved?” The fury in his eyes reflected in the rear view mirror as he pulled the van to the shoulder of the highway.

The sharply dressed Patrolman approached and as expected, announced that my brother had been exceeding the speed limit.  Rob dug out his license and registration as the officer bent his head down to view the other passengers in the vehicle.  My sister-in-law and I were trying to contain the laughter that threatened to escape our mouths.

“Could you give me a break since I’m from out of town?”

The officer shook his head no and pointed toward the sky.  “Sorry, but when the guy up there gets you, there is no getting out of it.”

An explosion of laughter came from the back seat.  If God did have anything to do with it, He certainly has a sense of humor, too.

Rob didn’t share in our laughter until some years later when the pain of paying the ticket faded a little.  I’ve been banned from throwing any more lightning bolts in his direction.

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