December 26, 1995 - The Lake City Reporter

By H. Morris Williams


It came upon a midnight clear two weeks ago in Jacksonville that my car was stolen.

Having your car stolen anytime is a bad deal but when it happens in a big city late on a bitterly cold night leaving you stranded and all alone, it is much worse.

When it happens in a dark, unfamiliar area and you don’t have access to a telephone, that just adds to the anger and frustration.

I saw no ready answers to my most immediate questions that bleak night. How can I get out of this windy, freezing weather? How can I get back home to Lake City tonight?

I saw lots of Christmas decorations at homes all around me but there were no good tidings of great joy that I could find that miserable, cold night. Or so I thought.

Then, Lo and Behold, the first of three human angels miraculously entered my life.


I knew this much for sure. If I knocked on anyone’s door that late at night, they would ignore me--or, at best, talk to me through their locked door and tell me to go someplace else for help. Who could blame them?

But, no, the first human angel, a retired woman living alone, answered the door, listened to my story, and, miracle of miracles, invited me inside to get out of the cold.

She then provided me with a phone and helped me call the police. Then she helped me arrange a rental car so I could drive home. She even made steaming hot coffee for me while I waited, and wouldn’t take the money I offered her for her help. An angel, indeed!


Remember that rental car I mentioned? Well, there was a slight catch to that. The closest place I could rent a car that time of night was at the Jacksonville International Airport, some 45 minutes away.

I was about to call a taxi---and I was plenty worried about the cost of such a long ride--when the second angel entered my life. A man living nearby had somehow heard of my predicament, gotten dressed, and offered to drive me, no charge, to the airport.

Now I ask you. If you lived in Jacksonville, would you even stop and talk to a total stranger in the late night hours, much less invite him into your car for a dark ride over mostly empty roads through some pretty desolate areas? Probably not, but this angel did.

As we rode, I looked up at the stars on this clear and silent night, and marveled at my good luck. Two angels in one night! Star of Wonder, Star of Night, Star with Royal Beauty Bright! Little did I know there was a third angel just ahead.


As soon as I was dropped off at the airport, I headed for the rental car agency. It was after 2 a.m. and I was exhausted and sleepy. That’s when I met the third angel, a seemingly ordinary man, and we struck up a conversation.

I told him about my stolen car and the people who had been so helpful. Then, incredibly, my good luck continued. The man said he was at the airport to pick up a package and would be driving toward Lake City shortly and it wouldn’t be much out of his way to take me home.

And so it came to pass that, Westward Leading, Still Proceeding, this third angel guided me safely to the Perfect Light of Lake City and the warmth of home.

Was it Guardian Angels or just extraordinarily kind human beings who rescued me that cold, difficult night? You tell me.

Either way, it’s nice to think of protective angels and kind people at Christmas time. square

H. Morris Williams is a local historian and long-time Columbia County resident.