Life in Abundance

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The Pig on the Road

by Cynthia Ward

I am number four of five children who didn’t often get to visit extended family in California. So any opportunity for a road trip to see Grandma was wonderful.

When I was 12, a family friend was getting married in California near where my grandmother lived. I begged my mom to let me go with Violet, the groom’s mother, who didn’t want to travel alone anyway. My mom said yes; I was thrilled; and Violet was glad for the company.

That morning I piled into the car with great excitement. After the required prayer for safe travel, we backed out of our driveway and headed towards California. It should have been a five-hour journey from our small town to Grandma’s home, except that Violet was a good Christian woman who abided by all highway rules and regulations. In other words, we never broke the 55-mile-an-hour speed limit.

Finally, as we were nearing our destination in the San Francisco Bay Area, we merged with hundreds of other cars driving on a five-lane highway. With Violet resolutely stuck in the slowest lane, I had plenty of opportunity to see everything. Soon a flatbed pickup truck was alongside us. Around the truck bed was a wooden slat fence. Within the fenced area of the flatbed were a dog, a calf and a pig—and plenty of hay. Just as the truck began to pass us, the back fence guard fell off and splintered all over the highway. Naturally this caught our attention. And we watched what happened next in horror.

The pig apparently decided this was his stop. He walked up to the edge of the flatbed and leapt out onto the highway right in front of our car. The pig landed on its side. But because it was so fat, it bounced back up on its feet. Instinctively Violet slammed on her brakes. But there was no way we were going to stop before we hit that pig head on. I can still hear her shout out, “Stop us, Jesus!” And we stopped. Just like that. There was no skidding of tires, no swerving into the other lane. We just stopped. Right on that spot.

The pig walked around our car and poked his head through our window. He was huge! And after poking his nose at us, he proceeded to the side of the road. We could hear car tires squealing all around us, but we were safe; and so was the pig. Neither the pig nor our car was hit by another vehicle.

I think about the big fat pig every once in a while and remember that I’m safe in the hands of God.