Joan Koscal lives in a very small Wisconsin town, and juggles a fulltime job at a bank and the needs of her large family. A few years ago, after working all day, Joan decided to grocery-shop on her way home. "My son and his wife and family were staying at our house temporarily, so I didn't want to run out of food," she says. The nearest supermarket was some thirty miles away, and it was bitterly cold outside, but Joan completed her shopping. The supermarket parking lot looked deserted as she loaded groceries into the trunk of her large Lincoln Continental, dodging the freezing wind. What a night to be out! Suddenly, the trunk door slammed on her hands, locking them both tightly between the metal of the trunk and the car! The pain was excruciating. Joan could hardly believe what had happened. "I must have been screaming, because a woman approached, asking if she could help," Joan says. The Lincoln had a punch-key combination lock on the outside, and despite the trauma, Joan remembered the numbers. She gave them to the lady, who punched them in, but the trunk wouldn't open. Joan was getting desperate. "I'll run to the store and get some help," the lady told Joan. "No!" Joan cried. "I'll be dead before you get back. Please reach inside my pocket for the car keys, and see if…" The lady was already grabbing for the keys. She inserted them in the lock, and the trunk opened. Joan began to cry, half in relief, half in pain. Her hands were flat and white---were they frozen? No, she could feel the woman's warm reassuring touch. "Do you want to go to the hospital?" she asked. "No." Joan was still staring at her hands. "I just want to go home." And get out of this terrible wind, and be around people she loved… But she was blessed, she knew.
If it hadn't been for this woman, who came upon her just in time… Joan looked around. Her rescuer was nowhere in sight. Joan drove home crying and praying. Her hands were absolutely necessary in her work at the bank-what if she had broken some bones? And why had the car malfunctioned in such a frightening way? "But to my surprise, everything worked out," Joan says. "I suffered no broken bones or any other complications. The mechanic found that the trunk door had malfunctioned because of the cold, and was safe to drive." And the woman who appeared when she was needed most? "I was so caught up in my dilemma that I can't remember much about her," Joan says. "But I am convinced to this day that she was an angel, for she disappeared into the night before I could properly thank her." Angels do prefer anonymity. They are the messengers, not the Message. But oh, how welcome they are!