"God must have wanted me to get to confession before I hit the ditch."
Fr. Charlie laughs in response to my observation.
My heart rate's been going beserk ever since I nearly landed in the ditch on the way to my appointment. I hit a patch of slushy ice and my tires caught. I headed towards the ditch where another vehicle was already sitting, having hit the same patch of ice. I screamed for Jesus to help me and remembered my manners at the last minute because I added "please" before I stopped screaming. Sometimes I wonder if God isn't up there scratching his head at someone remembering their manners when their life is flashing before their eyes while he knows they forget to say 'excuse me' on a regular basis when they brush too close past someone in a store. Go figure.
Inches from the shoulder of the highway my car went back towards its lane and through the rest of the slushy ice before we hit a dry patch of road. Not sure what the people in the vehicles in the oncoming lane thought as I swerved hither and yon. Within a short distance there were 3 vehicles in the ditch. I slowed down and made my way north towards Confessionville. I thanked God that I was safe. I asked the angels to protect me. I thought about our friend's daughter and wondered why one person is spared and another isn't. I quickly realized there will never be a plausible explanation to that one even though in my head rolled platitudes and well meaning explanations from people I know. Truth is, we simply don't know cause we aren't God. Accepting life on life's terms is a bitch some days. Feels that way anyway.
So I got to Confessionville where Fr. Charlie and I caught up on each other's lives. We laughed, we sat in lengthy silence, we talked nonstop for a bit. And slowly we came around to meaty stuff. The stuff that comes from the gut. My gut. I had a revelation during confession that left me speechless for a moment, wondering if I was going to get brave enough to speak it aloud. After several starts and stops, I did. The tears ran freely. Grace, grace, God's grace, is a beautiful state of being.
On my way back home there was a semi truck freshly pulled from the ditch on the opposite side of the road where I nearly went in. I wondered if there was a priest somewhere waiting for that driver to fess up, too. Not that I was ready to trade places. It does shed a light on keeping to my side of the street, though. Truly. I need all the help I can get to stay out of the ditch.