The Truck in the Living Room

Some guy had a seizure the other  day while traveling down Yonezawa Blvd. If you are familiar with the area, you'll recognize Yonezawa as the four million dollar folly built by the town of Moses Lake several years ago. Big, four-lane thoroughfare with a tree-lined median that didn't end up attracting any retailers because no matter how prettily you pave the roundabouts with brick, no self-respecting national chain does business for long with a town council like ours.  They try, but eventually all throw up their corporate hands in despair.  

Point being.

The truck driven by the seizure-suffering man veered out of a roundabout, plowed through a back fence, coming to rest entirely within the walls of somebody's house.

I'm trying to imagine what I would do if a truck decided to park in my living room. Although, a train is more likely, given our neighborhood . . .

Do you have the same sort of stuttering response to catastrophe that I do? Your husband is backing up and there is a six foot wide redwood behind your bumper and you think, ooh, that's going to be tight, but surely he sees the TREE. He knows it's there, right? Thunk.

Nothing comes out.  Not one intelligible word.

The other day D slammed the sliding door shut and it bounced back open. Boo, seeing her chance, stuck her hand in the crack. These little ones have learned that if they can get some leverage, a slightly open door can become an escape hatch. D, however, noticed his error and raced back to correct it.

I'm sitting six feet away, watching this unfold in slow motion. Baby's hand in the door, six year old child braced, pushing on the handle—yelling to his friends, so it hasn't registered that maybe he should investigate what's impeding the door's progress.

I'm saying something  incoherent. D can't hear me. Boo's mom doesn't seem to understand.  Or maybe she's afflicted with the same disability I am. When faced with danger, I can't move. I just gesture and utter incomprehensible commands.

What would I do if I saw a train coming?

Would I have the presence of mind—and the mobility—to haul my kids or myself out of the way? Lucky Yonezawa area dweller had just gotten up to check her baked potato, and this saved her hide. Which is possibly how God would have to get me moving. Permit me to light another towel on fire just to get me out of the way, maybe.

But I think he would get me moving.

I'm beginning to suspect that our lives are one great escape after another. Most of the time we just don't know what could have happened; what great calamities we have avoided because we did one thing and not another. When I was four years old, my mother took me to town instead of laying down for a much needed nap. When we came back, the house was a steaming pit of ash.  Chesley Sullenberger just happened to be flying the airplane that lost both engines shortly after taking off out of the New York airport last Thursday. Maybe you turned right instead of left on the way home from work today for what you thought was no reason at all.

God may permit a lot of anguish in this life; I wonder how much we don't realize he prevents. Quiet, unrecognized acts of mercy.

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