“Who believes in an invisible God?” scoffed Brandon. “I believe in what I can see and touch. I gave up on ghosts and angels when I grew up.”
Dana sighed. She liked Brandon. There were days she thought she might love him. Brandon stood just short of six feet tall. He had thick, black hair that he kept combed back in a wave. His hairstyle would have been in fashion in the 1950’s, but on Brandon in worked in the twenty-first century. He kept himself in shape, but he was not “chiseled.” Dana liked that. She never wanted a man who took things to the extreme.
Brandon was also smart. He worked as the lead developer for a large software company. It was quite an accomplishment in the computer technology jungle of the San Francisco region. Dana and Brandon had been on a few dates, but this was the first time the topic of religion had come up. She knew he did not share her beliefs, but assumed they would agree to disagree, at least until she changed his mind. Dana was surprised Brandon reacted so strongly when the topic finally came up.
Her emerald eyes looked into his angry soul. Dana reached out, touched his hand, and his expression softened. She responded gently, “To me, it isn’t fairy tales or a spaghetti monster. God is very real, and Jesus is very real. If you love me, please respect my beliefs. I promise to respect yours.”
Brandon pulled back his hand and crossed his arms. His face was a cross between anger and confusion. “I don’t understand,” he said. “How can you say you believe that Jesus is somehow God’s Son and that without Him we go to hell, but then you tell me it’s okay if I don’t believe in Him. Are you saying you’re okay if I go to hell?”
Dana sighed and then responded. “No, that’s not it. I just can’t force you to believe anything. I do care about you, but this isn’t something I can demand you do.”
Brandon shook his head and then relaxed his body. “I don’t understand your logic, but we can drop it for now. You just need to think about us. I’m not sure how well we will get along if you want to go to church every Sunday, and I’m home sleeping off a night at the bar.”
Dana knew he was right, but tonight wasn’t the time to worry about such things. She shrugged. “You’re probably right. Who knows, maybe something will happen to change your mind.”
Brandon dove into his food without saying another word. The rest of dinner was pleasant, and the two left the restaurant to enjoy a walk in the chilly California night before going their separate ways for the evening. A couple of blocks into their stroll, Dana spied the ice cream shop across the road and noticed it was still open. She gave a light tug on Brandon’s arm and pointed over at the shop. With a flirtatious look and tone, she asked him, “Whaddaya say? Want to share some ice cream?”
Brandon shook his head. “No, thanks. I’m too cold for ice cream.”
Dana released his arm, “Well, I want some.”
“Wait,” said Brandon. “I can go get it for you.”
Dana shook her head, “Oh no. You can stay here and wait for me in the cold.” Then she laughed at her joke. Brandon crossed his arm and smirked. “Besides,” she continued, “you’ll miss me more while I’m gone.”
Dana turned to check traffic on the quiet town road. One car passed by and she crossed over to the store. Brandon waited and tried to stay warm. He crossed his arms and attempted to remove any air pockets between himself and his long wool coat.
After a few minutes, Dana emerged from the ice cream store. She looked both ways and began to cross the street. The car’s headlights appeared at the same moment the roar of the engine could be heard. A mid-sized car came racing down the empty road towards Dana, swerving as it went, and she froze in fear, like a deer in headlights.
Brandon began to run towards her, but he knew he would never make it. He didn’t care. He would try to save her or die in the process. Brandon had cleared the curb and had just stepped into the street when the world between the car, Dana, and himself seemed to light up around him. Brandon lost Dana in the blinding light, and he stopped running to try to gain his bearings.
He then heard the sickening sound of tires squealing and metal collapsing. The light disappeared, and Brandon was unable to see for a moment. When his sight began to return, he could see Dana running towards him. She wrapped her arms around him, “Are you okay?”
Shaken and unsure what had just happened he said, “Yes” in a shaky voice. They both heard moaning and turned to see the car that had raced down the street was in a heap against a tree. The tree had been just two feet from where Brandon had waited a few moments earlier. Brandon felt sick to his stomach. If he had not tried to save Dana, the car surely would have hit him.
Fearing the worst for the driver, Brandon got Dana out of the street and had her wait on the sidewalk away from the car while he checked the inside of the vehicle. He had just taken a step towards the crumpled mess when a man came stumbling out of what was left of his car. Although cut and bleeding, the driver did not seem to be in dire straights. The wounded driver weaved as he took three more steps and then sat down hard on his butt. He spoke slowly, focusing on his words, “Did you see that! Was that a truck?”
“You’re drunk!” yelled Brandon.
“I know,” said the stranger. “But I’m not that drunk. That light, whatever it was, knocked my car into that tree. It could have killed me!”
Pointing at Dana, Brandon responded in anger, “You almost killed her!”
The drunk man waved his hand over his head. “Sorry, I’m sorry. What was that thing? Did you see it?”
Brandon was at a loss. He heard footsteps and turned to see Dana walking towards him. She slipped her hands around his left arm and lifted her lips to his ear. She whispered, but Brandon could hear the excitement in her voice. “I guess He’s not so invisible after all.”
Brandon did not know what to think. Something had just happened that he could not explain. Brandon had no alternative explanation, and so for the moment, Dana’s response held merit. He slumped his shoulders and nodded his head.
Police sirens could be heard drawing close. The drunk driver started to stand but laid down on the ground instead. Brandon did not know what things would look like in the morning, but he knew his view of the world had just been turned upside down.