The Trace was beautiful. Spring was out in full force. Red clover bloomed endlessly, hugging the roadside with burgundy fur. Bright green leaves clothed the trees in fresh spring finery. The rain moved just ahead of us leaving the air damp and cool, and turning the road into a mirror of green and grey shadows. It curved in perfect time with “The Last of the Mohicans” soundtrack. At a visitor area we learned that we were following a string of severe storms causing tornados all over the area. We’d been driving with the sunroof open for over an hour, and again we marveled at our simple answered prayers.
We continued in this fashion for over 170 miles. We’d just decided on an exit 10 miles ahead to get gas when the heavy grey clouds started to drop dime-sized hail. It took us a few seconds to identify this since I was 10 years old the last time I’d seen it. Jordan remarked that it looked like manna. We knew we were in trouble when the first piece hit the windshield resounding like a gunshot. I immediately began to worry. The entire top panel of my Scion tC is glass. I closed the sunroof/moon roof covers, and started to pray. We prayed in the spirit, and with understanding. The hail at this point was pouring. We were in an unusual stretch of the Trace with no overhanging trees, no shoulder to pull off, no shelter whatsoever. Pieces of Psalms came to my mind as we prayed out loud and I just repeated them, “Lord you are our strong tower, our refuge in time of trouble, our protector, our provider, you are our shelter in the storm, you are sheltering us, you are protecting this vehicle, your angels are surrounding us, you are our shield…” over and over I prayed… wondering as the hail picked up and we continued to drive scanning the horizon for any kind of shelter. We drove for 2 full miles this way at 40mph. Mathematically speaking the faster you drive in any storm the more precipitation hits your vehicle, which is why you can turn your wipers down at a stoplight. At the rate we were going and the rate of hailstones falling, we should’ve been hit countless times. Yet, I can count on one hand the number of hailstones that hit my vehicle during that stretch. Five. Five pieces of ice hit us. I saw hail headed straight for my windshield land softly as snow, exploding into liquid on impact, while each piece on the road was bouncing all over the place. This was nothing short of miraculous. I don’t know how the Lord protected us, but He did.
After two miles with no place to pull off, we came to a tiny Mississippi Highway crossing the Trace. We followed a truck a quarter mile into this tiny little town, with the hail still falling. As soon as we neared buildings I began looking around for some sort of mill or metal shop because I heard this eerie screeching noise that reminded me of my dad’s table saw slicing through a particularly tough piece of wood. The hail was growing larger – the size of golf balls. There was no gas station or overhanging shelter to pull my car into. Still I was praying, “Lord, help us. Protect us.”