Thursday, August 7, 2008

at the bookstore...

I was talking with my daughter crossing over the 35W bridge to the program, south to Burnsville on August 1, 2008, remarking that this was about the time the bridge went down... Ironically I had scheduled the program for this Friday, August 1, not realizing until the day before that it would be the one year anniversary of the bridge collapse.

I’ll recount as best I can… Last year it was in rush hour that I'd been arguing with my husband on the phone, I was overwhelmed, angry and upset... feeling great pain I felt like fleeing. I was compelled to run to one of two places, I should have gone to the throne. The day before Sophie and I saw the flick "Hairspray" and debated on a favorite Italian place in Dinkytown (taking us over the bridge) or Mex... it was around 5:30 the day before, July 31, 2007. We hemmed and hawed and chose Mex. Pepitos to be exact. Well thoughts of Italian were in my head the next day and it was around the same time, a little after 5:30 p.m.. Argue argue, phone down. Turned off. I'd had enough. It was a war in my head. Take time to yourself, go have dinner, you don't need to deal with this! -vs.- Doing what I knew I needed to do, go to Cub, buy the ingredients for the soup you need to make for Sharon (my sister) and do it now! Like two angels on each shoulder: Time to yourself... soup… time for YOU… soup! And so the war went on. I don't know what in the world (angels, the Holy Spirit) compelled me to go to Cub and follow through with the soup, but I did. Only to return to my vehicle at around 6:30 with loads of frantic messages from my daughter and from Joe. "Call immediately,..." "This is urgent,..." "Call now!"... and so it went. I couldn't figure it out. Then, the sound in my daughter's voice on the machine resonated panic and determined unsurrender. I can't remember it all and I don't frankly wish to identify the emotions, presently, but the long and short of it is mercy. I got home and my son was there to meet me at the door, “Mom, I thought you were on the bridge,” he said with a look of deepfelt sorrow, he hadn’t recovered yet, even though he knew I was alright, right there with him.

On the day also where darkness fell on some of China with the solar eclipse, the lights were coming on again for me. Here we were crossing over a bridge southbound on 35. Just north on the other side of town was the bridge site where I might have been the previous year, had I not been obedient to my plans to serve my sister, I might have been very near the bridge, if not on it. God in His sovereignty overrules our near disasters many times, and had I gone it is very plausible I wouldn't have been on the bridge at that moment. But I certainly would have been stricken with a starker reality: the trauma induced by disobedience and its aftermath. Simply realizing my notions to not go home were ominous enough to instill a deep sobering inside of me.

This year, at this time, at this place... I was grateful. Resting in the mysterious, loving arms of my Saviour and about to go sing for Him. He also had been telling me for a long time to “sing a new song.” That message I heeded. I thank Him for that, for His protection and saving me from myself, essentially. Sometimes we simply succomb to the temptation to give up, to not see something through, when we actually need to put forth the effort and simply entrust ourselves to God. When a break is necessary, our flesh is very weak. Seeking escape in anything other than God, Satan will be sure to use that opportunity to pull us down and into danger. His goal is always to destroy, steal and kill.

And I shall rejoice that His mercies are new every morning. When He speaks, O, God, make us listen! Even when we see only in part.

Give us ears that hear and eyes that see. And cause us to obey Your voice.