extroardinary

June 4, 2014

Photo on 6-3-14 at 3.05 PM
All I can figure is that He must get a kick out of dispensing doses of extraordinary grace. Otherwise, the amount with which I have been favored would be ridiculous.
Twice, you see, in the span of two days, I have exhibited shining displays of, er, brilliance. And twice, in those same two days, I have been spared the consequences. Quite miraculously, I might add.
Three days ago I landed in country. Ordinarily, I am quite the light packer, enjoying the challenge of carrying all my own possessions easily. Incidentally, I am also prone to carry with me everything that is essential to my life. This fact will come into play in Part II of the story. For now, however, back to Part I . . . So this time around, I am traveling with a friend and we are both carrying extra baggage for others. I thought, by the end of the 18-hour journey, that I had gotten accustomed to the number of bags I had. I was wrong. We arrive at our destination city, load up our belongings, and head from Seattle to Tacoma. Unloading our things at my cousin’s home, I look around me and say, with a sinking in my belly, “Where’s my other bag?” R looks at me, startled. “Did you not pick it up?” I realize that I cannot remember when I last had it. But it obviously did not make it all the way with me. In my travel-weary daze, I gain a bit of adrenaline-energy and gear up to head back to the airport. R stays with our other bags at the house and I alternate between wishing I had not skipped coffee that day and mulling over possible ramifications of a failure to reconnect with my bag. I should add here that I had a distinct blessing in this endeavor. R and I had intended to take the bus from the airport. Upon arrival, though, two angels had announced that they would drive us to our destination. It was a tight fit in their vehicle, with bags piled on top of us, but we were more than willing to sacrifice space for the ease of travel. Now that I think about it, had I had all the bags I should have had, perhaps this gift of a ride would not have happened at all! At any rate, these same angels, when I realized I was missing a bag, declared that they would drive me straight back to where I had come from. Nearing the airport, they mentioned that they would have to leave me, but that they would pr_y for easy bag retrieval. I mentioned that I had a too-good-to-be-true hope that the bag was where I had left it, and that it would still be there, waiting for its wayward owner. Moments later, I hopped out of their car, promising to let them know how it ended. No more than 10 minutes after that, they received a text from me: “It was still circling around, all by itself, on the carousel. Thank you!!!” Not until the second trip back from the airport, however, sitting on the bus, did I have the courage to update my fiancé on my safe arrival . . . and admit to him the sordid details of it :-)
Part II. So after a pleasant day spent with my cousin and her rowdy little ones—a day spent in part preparing for the road trip to come and in part being on kid-duty, R and I hit the road the next day. We picked up some necessary items at the mall, and then picked up some food-to-go before hitting the highway. This first day was a short day so far as travel goes, with only one state between us and our destination. She was planning to spend the next state’s visit with her cousin, and I had made plans to stay with an old college roomie. As I neared her house, she told me that she was going to request a night off at home, so that the two of us could go out when I got there. We were giddy with the prospect by the time I arrived, quickly packing our swim bags after dinner. When we got to the soaking pools, we were asked for our ID’s. I reached for my wallet. I then dug for it. Then dumped out my backpack with a befuddled expression. “Um . . . I don’t know where it is. “ They seemed a bit amused when I instead handed them a photocopy of my passport. “Will you take this instead?” I asked. I explained that I always have passport copies stashed in various places. They nodded as if they understood, but I don’t think they quite tracked with me there. They did accept the form of ID, however. Though pleasant enough, I must say that our soak was not all that relaxing for me. I could not help but obsess over the wallet, racking my brain over where it could be. Finally it hit me: the last purchase I had made was a state earlier. I looked up the location of the coffee store, my friend helping me find the phone number, and we ended up juggling our two phones as we sat there in the pool. I almost couldn’t bear the suspense of asking, when the salesperson answered. But he cheerily enough informed me that he had my wallet. Fast forward a day and now you will find me with my valuable possessions in the mail, on the way back to me. This cafe not only held my wallet safely for me [presumably leaving all the foreign currency in tact ;-)], but they offered to ship it to my next destination in the road trip.
My friend and I were running errands when I got a call from the store manager. He had gone into work early that day so that he could take my wallet to get it sent out to me. He told me the shipping options and, as I thought, I asked if he could have me pay upon receipt. As I said it, though, I stopped myself. “Wait a sec,” I said, “you can just raid my wallet to pay for the shipping!” “Uh, ok—you want me to do that?” he asked. “Yeah, that would be great!” He agreed to do so and then we had an awkward exchange in which he said, “Ok, well, bye. Guess I won’t talk to you later!” “Guess not” I replied. “Bye then”
And there you have it. That was this morning. By this evening, I was consumed with chasing a 3-year-old around the playground and laughing with her mom over the profundity of her comments.
Grace. Life is grace. And maybe, by definition, that makes it extraordinary . . .

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One Response to “extroardinary”

  1. Tucker said

    Great is His Faithfulness ;-)

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