It was a typical day in early December. I had just picked up a load in my newish van and was ready to set off on a long distance journey across the country. My van was low on fuel and so I decided to fill it up at a nearby garage before hitting the motorways.
I’d recently acquired this van which was in immaculate order throughout. Unlike my old ‘Chalky’ transit, ‘Benny’ the name of this new van, had no dents, no scratches and was like showroom throughout. ‘Benny’ was my pride and joy. In the short time of owning the van I had been extra careful to look after it, even though my job requires me to travel hundreds of miles every day.
I pulled into the Gulf garage which is one I often use for convenience. It is set just half a mile off the M57 and perfectly located for ease of access. The forecourt, however, consists of two rows of pumps under the garage canopy which is held up with two large square posts at the middle of the rows of pumps at each end thereby splitting the middle drive-in space into two lanes.
I pulled in as normal and immediately noticed that the usual pumps for filling on the left side of the van were unavailable due to no fuel. So I steered the van towards the right hand row of pumps. Then again I noticed that these too had no diesel available. I got out of the van and looked around the pumps. It appeared the owner was waiting for fuel deliveries. I spotted that the back left pump actually had premium diesel and so I decided that would be fine on this occasion.
I sat back in the van, dropped it into reverse and observed in the mirrors that there were no other vehicles entering the forecourt at that time. I lifted the clutch and steered the car backwards across the forecourt towards the back pump.
Suddenly there was a loud bang as the van was halted immediately sending everything in the overhead storage flying onto my lap. In that split second I heard the sound of crushing metal and breaking glass. I had reversed into something with quite some force. The noise of the impact was awful. The crushing of metal panels and the breaking of glass lights on the van made me feel ill immediately. I was shocked. While concentrating to ensure of no cars entering the forecourt and reversing at speed I had completely forgot about the large canopy post that was behind me in the blind spot.
I felt immediately sick. In those fractions of seconds one hundred and one thoughts went through my mind for processing. What damage have I done to the garage forecourt? What state is my new scratch and dent free van? How much is this going to cost to repair? How do I explain this to her indoors? Will I be able to open the back doors to get the load out? Oh dear, I felt like crying. One second of lapse concentration and I’ve wrecked ‘Benny’.
The girl on duty at the paying window was staring out and as I clocked her, I also noticed the owner of the garage join her leaning towards the window giving me the cursing eye. From the driving seat I nervously animated my arms and shrugged my shoulders at them in a desperate attempt to apologise. My normal senses returned and I realised that I should now move the van to the intended pump, fill up and survey the damage, then go in and apologise for my actions.
So I gently drove ‘Benny’ forward a little so that I could get the fuel pipe to reach. I then stepped out of the van and made a determined effort to not, yes not look at the back of the van first. Instead I surveyed the damage to the canopy support. The metal boxed casing was dented quite badly, though not as bad as I had thought it might be. Slowly I then turned my head and brought my attention to the back of the van.
What I then witnessed left me initially shocked. What I saw and felt simply cannot be explained in words enough to even remotely express my senses at that moment. This was seriously unbelievable.
There was nothing wrong with the van. There were no dents, no broken lights, no scratches, no nothing. The van was immaculate. I got down on my knees and checked underneath – nothing wrong. I checked the panel alignments – perfect. The bumper was damage free, the doors, the side posts, everything was unmarked. So where was the smashed glass? I checked the forecourt floor – none anywhere. I opened the van back doors and checked the load. It was exactly as I’d strapped it a short while earlier.
I knew I’d heard glass breaking and panels crushing so I thoroughly checked inside and out – everywhere. Not a single bit of damage. The bumper was perfectly straight, the doors were perfect, everything was as if nothing had just happened.
This was beyond my comprehension. It was impossible. I know what I’d just experienced, felt and heard. The cab area was still a mess with all the stuff that had been thrown off the overhead shelf and items from the dash storage areas still littered the pedal bay.
I filled up with fuel and went in to pay. The boss was there waiting for me. I apologised and offered to pay for the damage to the forecourt canopy support. She explained that when I hit the canopy, the CCTV pictures she happened to be watching at the moment of impact shook the footage. She asked me how much damage I had done to my van. She did not believe me when I said there was none whatsoever. She said that was unbelievable. They had felt the impact in the shop.
Anyway, after some moments of talking to her I asked again about paying for the canopy post damage. She said there was no need to bother, the damage was minimal and not that noticeable. Actually it was, but she was not in the least bothered about it.
As I pulled off the forecourt I immediately started talking to Spirit. “Thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you for sorting that out. I am really grateful. Thank you very much.”
For the next five miles or so, I kept going over the event in my head. There was no logical explanation for the lack of damage to Benny. I know beyond doubt that I heard glass breaking and felt the van being crushed along with the associated noises. So the only explanation that I could now offer for the lack of any damage was that my Spirit team had immediately made amends and undone the damage.
Yes, I know how weird that sounds to admit, but I know what I know. I know what I experienced and I know what damage should have incurred with those horrid noises. So in my world, the only explanation I can offer is that the Spirit team and realised what a massive impact smashing ‘Benny’ up would have had on me both financially and mentally.
I have always said that I know my own truth. I would never believe this story if anyone else told it me. Nor would I expect anyone else to believe mine. But as I stated earlier, I know what I know, and the only explanation I can give for the outcome is down to the intervention of greater powers than we can never expect to understand this side of life.
So please, I’m not asking you to believe this story, I certainly would find it hard to. Just accept it for what it is – an account of an incident that I believe was intercepted by another force. Only I know what happened and only I can put it down to the work of some other power that I believe was my Spirit team. ♥