And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. — Romans 8:28
Ever ride with someone whose driving startled you? This happened to me 37 years ago, and though I cannot explain it fully, the memory lingers on after several decades.
Reopened Jan. 30, 2016, with a multimillion-dollar facelift and a nightly extravagant light show, the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge is a tourist attraction. But in 1983 — and again in 2012 — it was the site of a harrowing experience for me.
Allow me to elaborate. Back in 1983, my sorority’s Oakland chapter had a rule that on the Friday night of our meeting, we put everything on hold. The mission of Pi Chapter of Gamma Phi Delta Sorority was to enjoy the company of each other as we ate an eloquent dinner. Never was there a meeting when we did not feel special: tables set, freshly pressed linen table cloths, every member at a place setting. Our business meeting began after our lovely dinners.
My friend, sorority sister and coworker Jackie Keys invited me to ride with her. Though I had my own car, I agreed. Heading home, while crossing the Oakland Bay Bridge, her car stopped. Here we were, stuck at the top of the Oakland Bay Bridge, 526 feet above the water.
We were out of gas! Jackie, remarkably, forgot to look at her gas gauge!
At 2 a.m. on a Friday, I was afraid a drunk driver would hit us from behind. Panicked, I jumped out and stood on the side of the bridge, eyes big. Frightened, I looked over the side to see the water below. It was quite a distance as I watched, transfixed by dancing waves. My life flashed before me, I thought I was about to die. My children — would I see them again? I thought of Mom and Dad, sisters and brothers, grandparents too.
A nice man finally stopped to help us; his tow truck directly behind us. He was our protector. Cellphones weren’t out yet, so that nice stranger went to buy gas, and soon our nightmare was over! See how God protected us!
Fast-forward three decades: I was driving my godsister Jackie Williams’ car across the same Bay Bridge, this time heading to the funeral of Dr. Willie B. Kennedy, former national president of Gamma Phi Delta Sorority, Inc., and supervisor for the city and county of San Francisco (Notice how the name Jackie was involved in both incidents).
Because I didn’t understand Jackie’s BMW gas gauge, I, too, ran out of gas. It never dawned on me that the same thing would happen to me. Blessed that we were going downhill this time, I simply moved to the slow lane, put the car in neutral, turned on my blinkers and rolled right into a park in San Francisco!
Years later, I ponder these two nightmare experiences. Though I may not fully understand why I had these memorable experiences with the Bay Bridge, it was truly an eye-opener, one to ponder. Today, I’m living my purpose, and I do understand that scripture, Romans 8:28: I’m one of His called. More details to come!
Lyndia Grant is the host of “Think on These Things,” a radio talk show on WYCB (1340 AM), Fridays at 6 p.m. Contact her at 202-518-3192 or via email at email@example.com.