Black ice reached up with startling force and pulled my right knee downward for a surprise smacking kiss. A not-so-godly outburst echoed through the neighborhood along with laughter from the sanitation crew. I utilized the garbage can as a cane to pull myself up from the sidewalk to a semi-steady position.
“Why do you guys have to come so early?”
Lightening white teeth framed in a dirty beard smiled. “Got to get home in time to watch my soap opera, man.”
Nothing appeared broken except my pride. Pain shot through my back as I stretched upright and headed to my apartment. After beginning coffee, I checked my knee; just a nasty bruise.
“How are you?” the church secretary asked when I answered the phone. “Please pray for Karen. She slipped on her icy driveway after she buckled the twins in their car seats. She broke her wrist and may need surgery. Talk to you later.”
She hung up before I could say I would pray for Karen, or to tell her I fell taking out the garbage. Sure, a broken wrist is more painful than a bruised knee and ego.
As the coffee entered its last perking sounds, I checked e-mail. Last night, a parishioner discovered a homeless man nearly frozen to death. The man had sought shelter from the snow and ice by snuggling the brick wall under the church porch. His bicycle chain had broken and he could not see through the storm to reach a house about a quarter mile from the country church.
“Please pray for him and would you like to give a special gift to help him out?” the e-mail concluded.
Sure, a destitute homeless man is more painful than Karen’s broken wrist or my bruised knee and ego.
I poured a cup of coffee into the mug with my grandson’s imprinted picture. Looking at the morning newscast, I heard the horrible news that a 79-year-old man had been stabbed repeatedly in the chest after a young neighbor had broken into the gentleman’s home apparently looking for prescription drugs. Then to my astonishment I learned the incident happened less than 20 miles from my apartment!
Grief for this senior citizen’s family and friends had to be more painful than for the homeless man, or for Karen, or for my bruised knee and ego. May God help each and every one.
I spilled hot coffee on myself as I struggled to get out of the recliner to again answer the phone. Ouch! I pray only God heard my response.
Lord, I think I’m taking the day off. Let someone else be in charge.
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