I'm quite discombobulated this morning (and apparently in a British mood as I am using the word "quite"). School was delayed two hours this morning due to snow and ice removal. It didn't mean that much of a slower start for us, other than the fact that Bill and I had our first few sips of coffee in bed this morning, rather than out on the couch where we normally sit. Harry was curled up on the couch, not at our bedroom door where he normally is when Bill first wakes up to make coffee. I swear, that dog can listen to the howling wind and sleeting and decide he will not go out and do his duty in that kind of inclement weather, and so he will sleep in on those mornings. This was one of those mornings.
But after a few sips of coffee, Bill said "Let's move out to the couch. I'm sinking into the hole in this mattress." (Here's a friendly reminder to turn your mattress over and around, every couple months, or you'll wind up with a mattress like ours- low and lumpy on Bill's side, and little to no impression where I sleep).
After a few more sips of coffee and some chit chatting on the couch (after pushing Harry gently off), Bill got going on the day. I woke up the kids, pushed Harry out the door to do his thing, and scurried around the house to get us all back on the clock. I was thinking about everyone's commute and feeling relieved that roads were clear now. But they were terrible last night.
Last night I got a phone call from someone who was driving home to their house, and in the middle of talking to them, I heard a sudden, alarming "oh no!", a thud, and then...nothing. It was not a good sound. My heart thumping in my chest, I frantically made a call to this person's relative to see if they were with them in the car. They weren't. But they heard back from this person, and ten minutes later told me she was okay. She had been hit in the side after swirling around on a patch of ice. She and I talked later. Remarkably, she sounded like this was no big deal. If it had been me, I would have been a mess.
I did have a near death experience on an icy road once. My daughter Abby was with me. This was several winters ago, yet she brought up this experience with me, just the other day.
"Remember when we almost got killed Mom?"she asked me as we were driving into the mall parking lot the other day. I looked sideways to see if trauma and scarring were evident in her expression.
"You remember that experience we had?" I asked her. She must have been about nine or ten at the time, sitting in the back seat of the car as I drove on a major road in our town.
"Yea, I remember. That's when you called out, "Jesus!" and we never got hit by the cars coming at us. That was really cool."
"You weren't afraid when it was happening, when the car was spinning out of control on the ice and the other cars were heading straight for us?"
"Oh no," she said calmly. "I knew we were going to be fine. I had faith. And I heard you pray."
Well, my prayer had been one word- the name of Jesus. It was a plea for His protection all summed up in His name yelled out in a mother's worst nightmare- spinning car out of control, cars heading toward us, cars right behind me. I had cried out His name, closing my eyes, and then the next thing we knew, after spinning in circles, we opened our eyes to see all the cars miraculously stopped around us. No one had hit us. One person got out of their car and said, "Lady, That was a miracle you didn't get hit."
That was a miracle, alright. But it was also a miracle, in my mind, that my daughter was not frightened, terrorized by the near catastrophe we were heading for. She actually saw it as a good experience- one where God showed up, intervened on our behalf, and did what we couldn't do: made it all turn out okay. If she can build on that conviction that God is with her, no matter what, she will be in good shape, faith wise.
I'm thankful for that experience. I was scared, half out of my mind, as it was happening. I still remember that helpless feeling of seeing major trouble heading straight toward me and knowing I could do nothing- except call out His Name.
My daughter saw the situation differently. She saw God moving faster than the cars that were heading toward us; God moving so fast to help us that she was filled with awe and wonder at what He did. He won't always intervene immediately to get us out of trouble. He may walk us through some troubling times.
But our faith should always enlarge so that we can "see" God at work in all the many ways He does reach out- sometimes literally- to show us how much He cares.