My friends think I lead a charmed life. When I travel, especially, it just seems that everything comes up roses.
I was in Dallas, this week, for a kitchen tools convention. We were hosted by my friend's brother and his wife, who wined and dined us all week, put us up in their beautiful apartment and treated us like queens. I bought the obligatory cowboy boots (brown lizard skin) and didn't eat a single piece of red meat the whole time.
The convention's logistical team had screwed up: There was no food. No transportation. No organization. But we just sailed along under our own steam, taking cabs instead of waiting for 3000 people to squeeze onto the shuttles. Eating our packed snacks or grabbing salads instead of waiting in a line 200 people deep in the cafeteria. My friend's brother is pretty well off, so we were drinking expensive wine and eating great food and feeling grateful for every single bite.
Even on the last day, when I came down with the Norwalk virus and found myself unable to fly, vomiting my way out of the Dallas/Fort Worth airport, we were blessed by the kindness of strangers who went out of their way to assist a passenger (and her up-for-sainthood friend) in distress. We were given a free ride by a shuttle operator from a competing company. We were given a hotel room at a freakishly low rate. We got on a plane the next day and discovered it was nearly empty, so we could just lie down across three seats and sleep for the whole flight, making up for at least some of the sleep lost in the bathroom the night before.
And then, arriving in Boston, worried that our luggage had arrived 12 hours before us, we walked out of the arrivals and into the baggage claim to find all our bags lined up waiting for us.
A charmed life, I tell you.
And here's the thing: At the times of great joy, I read my bible. I read psalms of thanksgiving and praise. I pray prayers of thanks and love to God.
But at my worst, lying in a bed with a bucket at my side, in a dimly lit hotel room, 2000 miles from home, I pulled out the New King James that the Gideons had left, and read psalm 23, over and over. And then, just to put things in perspective, psalm 22.
And even though I was scared and alone and feeling very very sorry for myself, I also felt safe in the arms of my Beloved.
By the Grace of God. A charmed life.