All moments funnel into one, swirl faster in eye-blurring fury and collide, shatter in slow motion.
Metal against metal.
I see the bike spin and slide across the concrete. D slams the car to a stop in the middle of the road and leaps out. I freeze in my seat, nauseous, gasping for air, head down and hands over face, folded on myself. Rocking, rocking. Back and forth. Back and forth.
“Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus.”
Shock probably. And words only.
But sometimes words alone are a start.
The officer parked in front of Publix is there in an instant.
“I saw the whole thing.” The woman glares at and points to my husband as he stoops over the broken. “He ran a red light.”
We both traveled with the light we’d been given. But now here we are in the middle of an intersection while one bleeds from scrapes and cuts and a deep puncture wound to the leg and the other bends low.
It happens like that sometimes, doesn’t it? You’ve got a green light in life and you know you’re riding right. But suddenly you’re doubled over and broken and you can’t catch your breath.
We’re supposed to give thanks for all things, but how do we do that when we’re in the midst of a mangled mess through no fault of our own?
What if the officer had actually directed traffic at that intersection instead of simply parked and watched and waited for a crew to fix the malfunctioning light?
Or what if we had gone straight home from church instead of visiting a friend in the hospital?
What if he’d worn long pants and heavy shoes instead of shorts and sandals? If he hadn’t gone helmetless on an uninsured motorcycle just to grab a Sunday paper?
The melding of those moments could have had a much different flavor.
But we never know.
Do we still offer a sacrifice of praise, greet granite with gratitude? Do we fall on the Rock knowing we can trust where His light leads, trust that He works all for good in those who love and follow Him?
Do we give thanks when we don’t know how we’ll ever extricate ourselves from tomorrow’s tangles?
Even when life spins out of control, do we still count it all joy because we can count on Life?
This week when we count the good gifts, can we also breathe a bit of thanks for the brittle and the bitter?
Can we reflect grace even in life’s grit?
For how we can grow through it?
For what He can make from it?
Does gratitude drip from our lips in all circumstances?
So… what hard thing will you choose to give thanks for today?
I’ll go first. I’m thankful for this awful cold. Yes, I am. I choose to be grateful. Because though I pray it’ll be gone sooner than soon, it’s reminded me again of the importance of taking care of myself and keeping my home in daily order so I’m not sideswiped by setbacks.