Parking-Pit in Mexico
That evening I learned that God not only had parted the Red Sea, but He could also part a crowd of people. Nobody had been run over, and I was safe on the other side. I was so grateful to the Lord. I just didn’t understand the shocked look on my wife’s face!!
Our day had started in Mexico City. My wife and I learned about a small town southwest of the city called Taxco, which was famous for its silver artisans. Since we would be driving to Oaxaca, with Taxco being somewhat on the way, we decided to stop and do some shopping.
After arriving in this quaint little village situated on the side of a mountain, we discovered Taxco was so crowded with tourists and locals that it was difficult to find a place to park. Eventually, we found a rather unusual location. It was a square pit about seventy feet deep with one steep single lane to get in and out of the parking-pit. Other cars were parked down there, so I cautiously drove our van down.
Our van was packed inside and loaded on top. My wife and I with our three kids were on a three-month road trip in a twenty-year-old VW camper van. We had so much luggage on top of the van that back in the States at Niagara Falls, I had managed to get our van sandwiched between the ceiling and floor in a parking garage. We couldn’t budge until I unloaded some folding chairs off the top. Being so loaded had me pretty concerned about our brakes giving out as I drove us down the steep drive into the parking-pit.
After I got the van parked and secured, we went shopping. Taxco was a beautiful town with narrow twisting cobblestone streets and homes with white stucco walls and red tiled roofs. The old colonial town’s main plaza had multiple silver shops in any direction one looked. There were people everywhere, and the atmosphere was one of gala-enterprise. We had a great time! The locals were very friendly and the silver work was excellent and cheap! We were enjoying ourselves so much that we stayed a little longer than we should have, and it was beginning to get dark.
Surprisingly, as dusk set in, the activity in the plaza increased. Even more people began to come out after dinner to enjoy the evening. It was so hard to leave, but we had business in Oaxaca the following day and had to go. We worked our way through the crowds in the plaza back to our van. While walking down the steep drive, I didn’t say anything to my wife, but I began having doubts about our van being able to make it back up out of the parking-pit.
After paying the parking attendant, we all piled into the van, and I started the old engine. Sometimes it took a few tries, but this time the engine turned right over, coughed, belched some blue smoke and then we started up the steep drive. About a third of the way up, the strain was too much; the engine died, and we rolled backwards down the drive to where I had started. This time I gave it more gas and hit the drive faster. That took us about two-thirds of the way up before the engine conked out. We again rolled back to start.
I had my wife and kids get out to lighten the load, then I revved up the engine and hit the steep drive going as fast as I could. The van sounded like it was going to blow. Just as I made it to the top of the drive, I slammed on my brakes; there were too many people in the way, and I knew I couldn’t drive up onto the level street without hitting someone. Then the van died, and I rolled back down to where my family was standing.
Now, my wife was looking worried. Our three young children thought it was great fun watching their Poppy drive up and down, up and down. I told my wife that she would have to go up on the street and stop the people at the top of the drive so I could get out without running anybody down. By this time it was dark, and the street lights threw an eerie cast of dancing shadows over us and the pit. Reluctantly, my wife said she would try to stop the crowd, and when it was clear, she would signal me with a wave of her hand.
I prayed, “Lord, somehow please help me get out of this pit without killing anyone.” It was a simple prayer from the bottom of my heart; then up went my wife with the kids in tow. I sat at the bottom of the drive revving my engine and waiting. It seemed like it was taking her forever–then I saw it, her signal. I hit the gas. The engine was straining, but I was flying up that drive like a speeding bullet! With one big bump, I crested the drive and stopped right in the middle of the level street.
Praise the Lord! I hadn’t run over anybody! My wife came running over with an awful look on her face and yelled, “Why did you come up!!?? I didn’t signal you!!!” Stunned, I said in disbelief, “But I saw you signal me!” Then I noticed standing behind her was a large crowd of people about twenty feet from the van looking at us. I turned and looked out the opposite window and saw another large crowd of people about twenty feet from the van also staring at us. There was a completely empty zone, void of people on both sides of the van.
I realized the Lord had just performed a miracle!! For Moses, God had parted the waters; for us, He had parted the people! No one was hurt. I was profoundly amazed. My wife was relieved. And the kids wanted to see Poppy do it again!
“Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the LORD drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.” –Exodus 14:21,22 (NIV)
PS: The above story happened to us in 1987. This is my wife’s comment after editing the story for this blog post: “Yep!!! Truly amazing to this very day!! Some things can ONLY be explained by God.”
Copyright © 2010 by William D (Nick) Nichols