This morning I got up. The sun was shining. I had a great outfit all devised in my head before I was even fully awake (thank-you to my subconscious!) and got a rare compliment on it from a stranger before 8 a.m. The fence was painted. The front yard is a showcase of living things in full bloom: the red-violet flowers of the red bud tree, the promising white cherry blossoms, the lush, low-hanging lavender floral clusters on the wisteria vine, the purple flox, perky violet irises. Everything seemed better.
As I drove up the 540 to duck into the real estate office before going to work at the church, there was a truck in front of me pulling a trailer that was precariously loaded with bicycles and other assorted junk. I had flashes of a story I saw on TV last night of a 2x4 coming through the window of a car. The drive was, blessedly, uninjured. I changed lanes and slowed down and said aloud, "Lord, thank-you for all the things that could happen but DON'T!" That I simply make it to work alive is a blessing. So many horrible things can happen in any instant! One loose 2x4 and it could be over. Or one could grow up abandoned and in deplorable conditions in a Russian orphanage like the other show I watched on TV last night.
When I got to the office, I carried in the Sunday and Monday newspapers from the front door step. An article caught my eye: "Two Die In Fatal Crash" with a picture of a demolished white sedan. The morbid curiosity in my just had to read the details (this is why I don't take the newspaper: I will read the obituaries and the stories on car wrecks and murders and skip the rest).
A northbound truck tried to change lanes, clipped another car, lost control, careened across a wide grass median, and hit the white sedan head-on. Both drivers died. They were just two people going about their Saturday morning business. They never got there.
I might have noticed the tire tracks in the median or the broken bits of demolished vehicles if I hadn't been watching for something to fall off that precariously-loaded trailer. The accident happened right where I started thinking "Thank-you, Lord, for the things that could happen but don't". Right where one of those horrible things had happened just 48 hours before.
I made it to work unscathed. They didn't.
I should take my own advice. I always say to my children, "Everything's ok until someone's dead or dying". I learned that listening to people complain about daily headaches while my mother was dying of cancer.
And, when I'm feeling that God is callously ignoring my prayers, I will do my best to remember all the things that I've been protected from that I never even knew about.
My problems could be so much worse.