But for the grace of God...
I really dislike that saying. In earlier days, it seemed to tell me that God was the only One who had the power to keep me out of harm's way and He did. Today, well, it seems selfish.
Reading the obituaries first, as only the elderly and nurses do, I came across the face of a friend. Lyle struggled to recovery and due to a withdraw seizure, the end of his life was warped by a head injury and chain smoking. It was hard to see him. Really hard. He was in rehab about the time we were and we played cards with him and his wife for the first year or so. We lost touch as he relapsed and then would hear bits and pieces, here and there. When our lives intersected again because of my husband's job, we went to their house for dinner, but it was not the same. He recognized us as one thinks he sees something in the shadows. He repeated himself frequently. He asked for I.D. not believing how old my husband was. It was difficult. The old Lyle was barely there, but tho we recognized his spirit, his mind and humor were trapped. He asked us to come to dinner, thru his wife, several times, but it was so painful for us...well, we made excuses.
But for the grace of God, that could've been me. I had traipsed thru plenty dangerous territory. I had committed crimes and offended many. But I wasn't caught, not like he was. Not like so many people that come to mind as another one dies. It perplexes me to think that I was chosen and they weren't. I am grateful, but there is also an element of fear to this: if I don't know why I was chosen, how do I know I won't screw it up.
I think this way about God, too. I know lots of interesting, funny, creative people who don't "get" the God thing. Why me? (Not that I get Him as much as He has me.) I try not to attempt to dissect this too much because then I end up with a headache, but it is still a bit anxiety producing at times.