On March 18th, our friend and longtime member of Marble Collegiate Church, Clair Zak passed away. She was one of the first female members of our church’s board appointed in the mid-1980’s. She shared a personal story with the Marble Women’s Ministry that was published in a prayer book many years ago. Clair had a beautiful voice and was always praying for others. She was so kind.
You are in our hearts, Clair. Always.
Here is that story Clair shared with us.
A Yellow Cab Answer
By Clair Zak
When my mother first became ill, a year before she passed away, I was going back and forth to the hospital to see her. On one of those trips, I was leaving the hospital after visiting hours were over. I was totally exhausted from working and trying to be by her side and coordinate with her doctors on her medical care.
It was about eleven at night, and I went to the lobby, sat down and, essentially, started talking to God. I prayed, “Here I am Lord, I’m totally exhausted and I don’t know even know how to get myself home.” I just wanted to get home without even thinking about it.
The hospital was in a secluded part of the Bronx, where you never see Yellow taxis–but at that moment, I looked outside and saw an empty Yellow cab pull-up to the door. I felt that I was almost on auto pilot; I got up, went outside and said, “I need to go to Manhattan.”
The driver looked at me and said, “That’s great, get in.” When I did, I heard that he had his radio turned to a Christian radio station; a woman was singing the Beatitudes. I could clearly hear the Christian message coming through. I knew those words: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” I always say that when God speaks to me, it had better be clear and straightforward–and this was as clear as you could get without the singer actually singing, “Blessed is Clair.”
I asked the driver, “How did you happen to come to the hospital?” He said, “I had a fare to the Bronx and I was trying to figure out how to get a fare back to Manhattan. The thought came to my mind that I should go to the nearest hospital.”
I had the clear awareness that God was with me in my time of need; that even as I was looking after my Mother, He was looking after me. I believe there’s a spiritual realm that we can join through prayer. When I feel lost or in doubt, I can look back at that experience and say, “That happened to me and it was no accident.” I’ve gone on retreats where I’ve done guided meditations in which you imagine yourself sitting with Jesus, asking a question and waiting to hear what He would say to you. What comes to me is that He would say, with a gentle smile, “Clair, you’re asking all these questions, but you’ve been living the answers all along.”