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A quarter of a mile from my home, stands a small wooden cross beside the road, and I drive past it every time I go to a nearby convenience store. Flowers usually lie at the foot of the cross, a memorial to the man who died there. Such crosses are common in most parts of the United States. But this cross has a special meaning for me, even though I never knew the man whose death it honors.

My family was out of milk the day the man died, so I decided to pick up a gallon at the convenience store. I quickly changed clothes, because I had been working in the garden and didn’t want to go to the store in my grubby outfit.

But I felt uneasy when I got in the car. I had the distinct feeling that I should stay home. This is ridiculous, I thought. We need the milk. Besides, I went to all the trouble of changing clothes just so I could go to the store.

As I sat in the car with the engine idling, my feelings grew from uneasiness to downright fear. I finally decided not to go to the store, and it was as if a heavy weight had been lifted from my shoulders. The feeling of impending doom disappeared, and it didn’t return.

That night, watching the local news, the reason for my unexplained dread became crystal clear. The exact time that I sat in my car overcome with fear was moments before a man shot up the convenience store. The man then jumped into his car and headed towards our home, crashing his car, and dying where the wooden cross now stands. Only that overpowering feeling of fear prevented me from going to the store that day. Had I gone, I’d have been in the middle of all that violence.

Proverbs 3:6 has taken on new meaning for me: “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (KJV).

Connie Kutac writes from Farmington, New Mexico.

The Cross by the Road

by Connie Kutac
From the February 2005 Signs