Wednesday, March 9, 2016

And My Life Flashed Before Me

Ever have that feeling of your life flashing before you just before something bad is about to happen? Welcome to my world.

Yesterday, I ran to church over my lunch hour to hang some lights. Our women’s group is helping to host our church’s annual Easter Dinner for the community and we wanted to draw more attention to our sign-up sheet in the Narthex. Someone had suggested we hang Christmas lights around the sign and someone else offered a string of Easter lights. I volunteered to deliver them to the church, but well, something got messed up and the lights never made it to church. Which made me feel guilty, so I decided to just sneak over on my break and hang them myself.

Because my husband is a head usher, we have a key to the church, so even though our secretary doesn’t have a set schedule, I knew I could get in when I needed to. The door was locked and the building empty when I arrived shortly after noon.

Using my husband’s key, I went through the door by the offices and let it click shut behind me. I was locked in the dark unoccupied building. And it is a large old church, by the way.

I walked into the sanctuary and down the side aisle to the narthex at the far end. Day light came through the windows, but I know this building well enough that I could have felt my way to my destination in pitch black.

I pulled the string of lights out of their bag, found a box of tacks and started tacking the lights around the edge of the poster. Until I couldn’t reach the top of the bulletin board. I quickly dragged over the metal folding chair from next to the usher’s pew.

With the string of lights in one hand and a thumb tack in the other, I stepped up on the chair. And immediately lost my balance.

That’s when my life flashed before me. Or at least a long string of thoughts.

What am I going to do if I fall over the back of this chair which is the way I am heading? I will crash head-first into the floor. I am in this dark building alone. But from where I fall, unless I am knocked unconscious, I should be able to reach up to my purse on the table where I had laid the other string of lights. My cellphone is in my purse. But who would I call? The church is locked. Who would be able to get in here without breaking down the doors? But hold it, a friend at work is an organist at our church. She has a key. I can call her at work. I am set, when I fall and break a bone and can’t get out of here on my own.

But just like that, as all those thoughts came to a close and I had a plan, I was able to correct the angle of my fall, and instead of falling at all, I was able to jump off the chair and land, somewhat ungracefully, on my feet.

Amazing, but with heart pounding, I still had to hang the rest of the lights and get back to work on time. I don’t wear a watch and there was no clock in the narthex. I reached for my cell phone in my purse. It remained dark no matter which side button I pushed. The battery was completely dead. Completely. So much for my plan of calling that co-worker with the church key.

Was it all serendipity? Or was God protecting me in His house?


Denise said...

The little hairs on the back on my neck just stood up & the theme from the old show Twilight Zone--in my brain. Happy you are ok

Beth said...

These are the moments of clarity -- when what seemed important is swept aside. I'm so glad you landed on your feet AND got the job done!