“I have a dream, a song to sing, to help me cope with anything. . .If you see the wonder of a fairy tale, You can take the future even if you fail. . .
I believe in angels. . .something good in everything I see. . . A fantasy to help me cope with reality. . .I believe in angels. . .When the time is right for me I’ll cross the stream, I have a dream”
ABBA ~ from “I Have a Dream”
I was feeling fairly mellow cruising down SR-426 (Aloma Ave) just outside of Oviedo on my way to one of my home church meetings. It was four in the afternoon last Saturday. I put the ABBA’s greatest hits CD on. It had been many months since I’d last listened to it.
I was thinking about the lyrics and wondering if ABBA’s song was about death—“I believe in angels. . .When the time is right for me, I’ll cross the stream.”— thinking that in 1979, this is about as “Christian” or perhaps spiritual as ABBA could allow their fans to see them.
The tranquility ended with the nerve shattering whine of a crotch-rocket madly accelerating and a sickening thud. Some young moron had badly miscalculated in thinking he could zoom between my car and another.
Something on his bike caught the front bumper trim on my car just right. It peeled the bumper off and, fortunately for him, he had enough momentum to keep on going. An inch one way or another and it might have been all over for him—but he went a hundred yards up to the next intersection, glanced back at me and then shot off down Slavia Road.
I was shaken. The flimsy plastic bumper, front trim and wheel covers had peeled off, gone under my car and I was now dragging the whole assembly—a scary reminder that I could have been dragging a body instead. I was alternately praising God for him or I not being badly hurt and also thinking that if I’d had a gun I’d have likely shot him. I was beyond angry.
I pulled the car up on to the bike path that runs along side the road. I backed the car up and pulled most of the plastic junk out from under it. I called 911 and waited for the deputies. I was thinking that I’d probably have to use the AAA that I’d just subscribed to to have the car towed. Fortunately, one of the deputies was able to wrench the last wheel cover out and voila it was still drivable. An hour and twenty minutes later I was back on my way to the meeting—praising God all the way—and thinking how much worse it could’ve been.
But I couldn’t get the synchronization of the lyrics and the event out of my thoughts. “I believe in angels. . .” Per usual, I had been feeling somewhat morose and not much caring if I remained on this planet or not. Suddenly I was glad that I was alive. It had been 33-years almost to the day since my last accident. It seemed a wake-up call for me—and hopefully the biker as well.
ABBA is an anagram for the first letters of the names of the two couples who comprise the group: Annafrid, Benny, Bjorn, and Agnetta. They were a unique group with a very different, uplifting sound in an era when headbanger rock ruled. But I’ve also wondered if they self-consciously chose that name because of its Jesus implications. Anyway, they’ve always made me proud of my part-Swedish heritage.
Abba is also “daddy” in Aramaic and it’s what Jesus called God the Father, His Father, our Father. “. . .God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, Abba, Father. So you are no longer a slave but a son, God has made you also an heir.” (Gal. 4:6-7).
The Brennan Manning book Abba’s Child was personally transforming for me. I read it in 2003, and it gave me answers I’d sought for most of my life. It told me who I was.
And God has a way of reminding me of that from time to time.