And it came to pass in those days, the wife was harried, and the husband bombarded. Time was ticking like a clock, calendar pages flipped like a fan and a list of one million and two things-to-do grew. Deadlines loomed. Expectations overwhelmed. Sharks were in the water.
I plopped down my money, paid for the hostess gifts I needed and hurried to the passenger side of the car where I promptly took out my list and started crossing out and adding to. My mind routed our next move. Engrossed, I plotted and strategized. I was so ready to go.
But my husband was no where in sight.
“Where is that man?” flickered across the jumbled plain of my mind.
I leaned against the headrest for a few moments and with a sigh, closed my eyes.
But he didn’t come.
I opened one eye and glanced to my left. No one. I opened both eyes and looked toward the store I’d just come from. No man in sight, at least not one that interested me. I began to complain, only inside of course.
“Where in the world? Didn’t he know we had a ginormous amount of stuff to accomplish in a minute amount of time?”
I digressed from there, but I will spare the details.
I opened the sack with my purchases and began to admire them one by one.
“I did good,” I thought, satisfied.
One by one I dropped the articles back into the bag.
I tapped my fingers against the sack. It made what I considered an ominous beat.
I texted. Where are you?
When one is sitting front seat shotgun, and the person in the car parked alongside looks at you at the same time you look at him, it is just far too close. It was an awkward connection. We both quickly looked opposite directions, but not before I realized he had the look of one in waiting for his wife-in-the-store-too-long.
I gazed longingly toward said store, and I confess at that point I spoke my ignoble thoughts aloud into the air. The words for my MIA husband dripped frustration.
“Why doesn’t he come?” I asked no one. And since there was a sports store in the strip, I had my suspicions.
That’s when I realized I was sandwiched between two car-waiters. The man on the other side looked directly at me.
There was no where else to look.
I texted again. WAITING in the car.
I began to slip from irritation to worry. Maybe he’d had a heart-attack, or fell and hurt his head. I was somewhere between fret and panic, playing out the scenes, fearing the worst, waiting to hear an ambulance siren, when I like a bolt of lightening, I remembered.
Phil had not come with me. He was home.
I drove to the store.
I lifted my head sharply, and steeled my neck muscles from pivoting side to side. Staring straight ahead, I sat motionless like mayonnaise between bread.
Just for clarity let me interject here a disclaimer as to this incident or any similar one, having anything to do with my age, gender or color of hair. However the often asked question, “why me?” remains unanswered.
There must be a thousand spiritual paragons for this. Like, pride before the downfall, wives see to it that you respect your husbands, or how about those complaining Israelites. But no spiritualizing seemed to fit into that humble parking spot. All I could think of was to get out of there as fast as I could, “…the driving is like that of Jehu. He drives like a madman,” (from a recent reading in 2 Kings).
I considered walking back to the store as if I’d forgotten something or simply waiting the other two out, pretending my wait to be longer. But time was of an essence. I weighed my pride against my options.
Finally, I opened my door, kept my head down and hurried to the driver’s side where without hesitation, or looking toward either cars that flanked me, I backed out of the parking spot and drove away.
In retrospect, I’d say Matthew 6:34 sums it up well.
“Take no thought for tomorrow, (my paraphrase) for tomorrow has enough troubles of its own.”
And to that I say a hearty, “Amen.” Do I hear another?