Last Sunday my local church had a very contentious congregational meeting meant to plot our future direction now that the leaders had rejected the transitional pastor from our region.The discussion was not as constructive as hoped. (More about that sometime, maybe.)
On Monday, while delivering some paperwork from my workplace to the County Auditor’s Office at the courthouse, I stumbled and fell flat on my face on the sidewalk.
My first reaction was disbelief. It seemed unreal, at least until my face made contact with the rough pavement. (There is a good reason that undeniably real things are described as "concrete" I discovered.) I lay there, stunned, for what seemed like several minutes. I was embarrassed and hoped no one had noticed. (Later, when I realized the extent of the damage and thought of how much worse it could have been, I was a little annoyed that not a single person had noticed. Human nature, I guess) Eventually, I pulled myself together enough to peel my battered body off the pavement and totter over to a nearby bench where I assessed my injuries.
I was bleeding from my forehead and the palm of my hand and my glasses were flattened, but other than that, I seemed okay.
I sat there taking deep cleansing breathes until I was able to go inside to the restroom where I cleaned myself up enough to take care of my paperwork. By the time I returned to my office across town the shock was wearing off and the pain was beginning to set in, so I drove home where I stayed and nursed my wounds for the rest of the day.
As I’m writing this I am mostly recovered, physically. There are lingering aches and pains and an array of colorful bruises to keep me entertained, but in one way I am permanently changed.
When I shared this adventure withmy son in Italy I told him that I thought everyone should fall flat on their face, at least once, because it shakes up one’s preconceived notions and makes one more aware of the things being taken for granted. At least it did that for me.
I feel more vulnerable and more secure, both at the same time. I recognize that I am not impervious to random mishaps, that up to now I have been incredibly blessed and that through it all God is in control.
I like to talk about being God’s favorite child (which I am!…okay, so are you), but up until now, I did not realized that His grace and mercy have been spoiling me. I may even have been getting a bit bratty. That would explain why He decided to let me fall victim to my own clumsiness, this time. So I am wearing my black (green? purple? yellow?) eye with gratitude for such gentle discipline when I deserve much harsher treatment.
God is good. All the time. Even when he lets me kiss the sidewalk.