I have no excuses, but I will give a number of
explanations. If you care to hear them, Lord.
(I know you know already what I will say), but
please, I’m sure if you hear them in my voice,
with my famous, completely sincere delivery,
You will smile upon me with mercy, and see my actions
in a new light.
Surely my explanations must carry some weight. There
were much deeper issues I was contending with than the
simple act of sharing my umbrella in a rainstorm. How was I
to know she was not a pickpocket? Had I asked her to join me,
the money in my wallet I had saved for my long-planned vacation
might have been lost. Even an elderly woman with a limp
and a cane can be a crook. I didn’t know her!
She could have faked that cough.
It was You. You were the one who told me to be
“wise as serpents,” and I could not afford the risk of
dove-like innocence. Besides, what need have I
to inherit the earth? You certainly did not create me
as some meek soul worthy of your creation. And
who would want it? The world is a mess now.
There have been so many changes in the world you
created, oh God! Shifts in the patterns of humanity
that you must take into account, surely. Childhood
is a joke. Who is or can be a child anymore? You
could have stepped in, but failed to. It’s not my job
to protect children and old ladies. She was already wet!
What more could I have done? My taxi was going
another way. Someone else would help her.
There’s always someone else.
It wasn’t raining all that much. It was about to stop.
Of course I heard the thunder – but it was distant. I
turned around in the cab to look through the back window,
I saw her standing there. She saw me. I saw the smile
cross her face, her eyes light up as she waved at me.
It crossed my mind to stop the cab. Perhaps I was hasty in retreat.
What have I become, to deny another such a simple thing?
I looked back to where she stood, and saw that she was gone.
A sigh from my lips surprised me. Was it relief or regret?
I don’t want the earth, Lord. I don’t need to be meek,
but now, give me some peace. I still see the old woman.
But hardest of all, I see the unmistakable shimmer of her
presence, her hand and smile faintly glowing in my memory,
still, a vow I might have made.
I do not understand your Grace.
And yet the Grace of God keeps pouring over us. We are blessed with enough. . .