I had managed to drive the DC beltway during rush hour without incident. We missed the backup there by taking an early exit and going home another way. For once, it had actually been a pleasant road trip. Rather than the daughters filling the air with their near-constant bickering, we were singing and joking around and …
After a split-second blink because of the very loud noise, I opened my eyes to a windshield that, though still intact, had splintered into a thousand shards of glass. My rear view mirror was cracked down the middle, the passenger side mirror was hanging off the side with the mirror part gone. Glass dust was all over the dashboard and front seats.
“What just happened?” all three of us asked nearly simultaneously.
The young one started crying. The older one started crying but stopped rather quickly. I had to keep driving because there was nowhere to pull over and stop at that moment. I spoke soothingly to the young one, but it was to no avail. We were about three miles from home so I kept driving. I remained as cool as a cucumber until I pulled into our driveway and got out of the car. When I got into the house, I had to sit for a little bit and just let my body shake the shakes out.
We never did see what hit us. All evidence points to a rather large branch from one of the overhanging trees. It hit on the roof of the car about an inch above the windshield right above the driver’s side. When I saw how close it came to crashing through our windshield, I stared in wide-eye wonder of what could have been.
Ever have a BOOM! moment in life? Your perspective gets a little smashed and you can’t see clearly? Yeah, me too, a little too often.
I don’t mean to be a downer, but it’s been a pretty rough week. I returned home Tuesday morning to see a stretcher being taken into my neighbor’s house. I walked over and before I made it up the driveway, my neighbor’s daughter said, “Mom passed this morning.”
Then there was news on Facebook that my cousin’s almost 5-month old grandson’s liver has shut down. He will need a liver transplant or a miracle very soon. He’s too small to be going through so much.
And a few minutes ago I got off the phone with a mom of one of my daughter’s classmates at her former school. She called to let me know that one of the fifth grade boys had died during recess the other day. After he collapsed, one of the teachers started CPR, but he never revived. This boy and my daughter haven’t seen each other since she changed schools, but he was a friend of hers at one time.
BOOM. BOOM. BOOM.
What is happening?
I’m sorry, I have no great pearls of wisdom to share, just sorrow right now. I don’t even know what or how to pray at the moment. I mean, if I’m feeling overwhelmed, how are the people who are going through it feeling? What should I ask, Lord, when my heart aches so much? The words aren’t there.
Some weeks the booms never stop coming. The blitzkrieg is on. If not a direct hit, the explosion is often close enough to make standing up from day-to-day difficult. It’s deafening. Our vision can become blurred with tears. But somehow we have to keep going—to help, to support, to pray, to keep living. Our time to collapse will come, but not now, not yet.
I have been taught and still steadfastly believe that one day our tears will end. Lord, help us through to that day.
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. Romans 8:26