DDr. Reichelt Wolfgang
Dr.Dr. Wolfgang Reichelt
Klagenfurt/ Austria

I was protected from running over my own child

I had recently moved with my wife and two small children from the city to a new house in the country. After some time, we were asked by people from our new parish if we wanted to host a so-called "Wandering Madonna" in our house for a week. This custom is meant to indicate that Mary likes to be with people and wants to help us all to find the direct way to Jesus, her Son, in our lives. We agreed.

When the statue of Mary was brought to us, we were honestly not very enthusiastic about it, because we did not like this big statue at all. We felt it was very kitschy. Nevertheless, we placed it in our living room. After all, it was about welcoming Mary as a guest in our family and asking her to protect and accompany us on our journey of life and faith. It should not be important whether we like this figure or not.

A short time later, my younger brother Martin called me and asked if he could come for a visit with a mutual friend of ours. We were looking forward to the visit, but considered removing the statue from the living room during this visit. We knew that our friend in particular could be very mocking and suspected that he would make jokes about this kitschy figure in our living room. After some deliberation, we nevertheless decided to leave this figure standing. Even though the statue was very kitschy, it was a symbol that we had invited Mary to be a guest in our house. We felt that we would also be hiding our faith should we put this statue away. We did not want that. Therefore, the statue of Mary remained in the living room for all to see.

It came as we had suspected. Our friend and my brother had their fun with our "exquisite taste in art", but having prepared ourselves for their jokes, we did not get too annoyed.

Soon after they left, I too had to drive away in the car that was parked in the driveway to the house. My two children, 3 year old Veronika and 2 year old Stefan were playing somewhere in our big garden, I couldn't see them. Because our children were still so small, I had made it a habit to always walk around the car before driving away to check that there was no child around that I could endanger. I went around, saw no child far and wide, got in, started the engine and wanted to drive away.

Suddenly it was as if I heard a very energetic and urgent "Stop!!!" inside. I was startled and immediately turned off the engine. I was confused and did not understand at all what had happened.

When I got out of the car to see what was going on, little Stefan suddenly crawled out from under the car, beaming with joy. He had probably wanted to play hide and seek and had crawled under the car. If I had driven away, I would inevitably have run over my own little child. We then had every reason to thank Maria for protecting us.

Now the following is remarkable: I had written down this incident, as well as other incidents where I believed I had experienced the working of God. When I read all these notes again after many years, I noticed a very interesting connection: In most of the cases in which I had experienced an apparent working of God, I had previously been prepared to bear witness for God. Giving testimony often requires a great deal of overcoming, because it is connected with the possibility of being embarrassed and not being taken completely seriously by other people. God seems to honour that in a very special way.