Sunday, September 12, 2010

Two traveling angels stopped to spend the night in the home of a wealthy family. The family was rude and refused to let the angels stay in the mansion's guest room. Instead the angels were given a small space in the cold basement. As they made their bed on the hard floor, the older angel saw a hole in the wall and repaired it.

When the younger angel asked why, the older angel replied, "Things aren't always what they seem."

The next night the pair came to rest at the house of a very poor, but very hospitable farmer and his wife. After sharing what little food they had the couple let the angels sleep in their bed where they could have a good night's rest.

When the sun came up the next morning the angels found the farmer and his wife in tears. Their only cow, whose milk had been their sole income, lay dead in the field.

The younger angel was infuriated and asked the older angel, "How could you have let this happen? The first man had everything, yet you helped him. The second family had little but was willing to share everything, and you let the cow die."

"Things aren't always what they seem," the older angel replied. "When we stayed in the basement of the mansion, I noticed there was gold stored in that hole in the wall. Since the owner was so obsessed with greed and unwilling to share his good fortune, I sealed the wall so he wouldn't find it."

"Then last night as we slept in the farmers bed, the angel of death came for his wife. I gave him the cow instead. Things aren't always what they seem."

Sometimes that is exactly what happens when things don't turn out the way they should. If you have faith, you need to trust that the outcome has a purpose. You just might not know it until some time later...
I'm not a superstitious person. I've never done the whole "lucky T-shirt" thing or understood why a person would want to knock on wood hoping something happens.

I don't take a lot of stupid chances, though, either. I won't walk under a ladder—something could fall on my head. I don't care if a black cat crosses my path, I'm just on the lookout for it's friends or whatever is chasing it.

This week, however, hasn't been a good one. My kid was rear-ended on her way to school. The accident actually involved four cars and she was pushed into the car in front of her. Sandwiched between car one and three. It looks like her small truck will probably be totaled. That was our most reliable vehicle, too. Then my nephew spilled hot cocoa on himself and ended up with second-degree burns. As my mother said "This week has not been good to my grandchildren. I do not approve."

If I were superstitious, I'd be wondering what the next family tragedy will be. These things come in threes, don't they?

Or do they? You can make numbers say whatever you want them to. That's the fun of statistics.

Rather than wait for the third shoe to drop, however, I have a better plan. (Or at least a "better for my own peace of mind" plan.) I'm going to figure out what the lesson is. I know that the Divine Creator of the Universe will not give a person more than he or she can handle. Is that a tough thing to remember? DUH! Even Mother Teresa had trouble with that: "I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much." And trust me, I'm no Mother Teresa.

But there must be a lesson. There must be a blessing within these accidents. I can't believe that there isn't. For my kid, the blessing is that she wasn't badly injured. She was truly in the wrong place at the wrong time and nothing she did or didn't do could have prevented this. Yet if she hadn't been there, a very large pickup (previously referred to as car number 3) could just as easily hit the small hatchback which was stopped (previously referred to as car number 1). And there was a preschool girl in the back of that car. She wasn't injured....but could have been. Maybe my kid was in that place at that time to "bumper" that little girl. Who knows.

Maybe the blessing with my nephew is that he wasn't burned more than he was. Maybe it is that my sister is a bit of a hippy and he was wearing natural fibers that didn't scar his skin. Maybe the angels had to pick between a "small" burn on him or something much more serious. Who knows.

I don't. I just know that there has to be a reason....a lesson. There must be something good to come of these events, even if we lowly mortals can't find it or grasp onto it.

It's what I believe with every fiber of my being.