It was a rainy day, but it promised to be a good day. I was on my way to pick up Maria for a Bible study. I had prayed that her heart would be open, that my words would be clear and translated correctly and that she would obey the sweet gospel. As I traveled over Chapman Mountain I thought about how I was hungry and that I could drink a latte while studying, just to tide me over till lunch. But then I thought I should also call Emily and Bonny and bring everyone else a drink, too. But I cannot think about two things at one time, so I missed my turn. Running late by now, I knew I would have to just apologize to the girls and skip the coffee.
So I pulled into Maria’s driveway and out popped Jerry and asked me if it would be okay if he wore “these shorts to church”. Jerry is a family member who is about thirty years old, but due to an accident earlier in his life, has suffered brain damage. He talks incessantly and without reason. I knew studying with him in the room would be a fiasco, so I explained that this was just a Bible study and that maybe he might want to wait for another time when there would be a class. But he REALLY wanted to come and, in actuality, he HAD to come because there were others at home who could not be left alone with him. Although not responsible for his actions, Jerry was capable of harm to others. I moved things around on the back seat behind me and made a place for Him. But my heart started pounding and, as I backed out of the drive, I was afraid. I had tried to call my husband, while he ran back in the house for shoes, but there was not enough time.
So, as I drove down their street, I texted Glenn: “Please come to building ASAP. I have a crazy man in the car with me.” I later learned that Glenn read the text while discussing business with another preacher on the phone.
“I have an emergency,” he said. “I have to go.” And he did…in his dirty, work-in-the-yard blue jeans and with unshaven face, he bolted out the door. But he forgot to text back that he was coming. I drove along without saying a word. The sweet lady beside me could not communicate with me and the man in the back never paused long enough for me to get a word in. I texted Glenn again: “Are you coming??!!”
He responded this time: “On my way.”
But I knew his drive was thirty minutes and mine was ten. I did not want to get to the building before He got there. I felt that putting others in an uncomfortable spot was not the right thing. So I thought about the coffee again. I would drive over to Target, and go in and order coffee from the expensive coffee shop inside. That would “waste” enough time to make my arrival coincide with Glenn’s. But, oh my!…by now I had so many people that I was going to break the bank in that place.
“Cafe´?” I offered to Maria in my best Spanish accent.
“Si, “ she said.
“That means ‘yes’, Jerry explained. He knows just a little less Spanish than I do, but he loves to instruct me in the language. He was also telling me what kind of coffee and creamer he wanted and that he did not want sugar. He wanted Splenda.
I had a time asking Maria about hers, but I remembered “leche” from “dulce de leche” and finally figured it out. I had the other orders in my phone and so I hurried into the store. As soon as I placed the orders, I began dialing to give the others a heads up about the situation. Emily didn’t pick up, but, thankfully Bonny did. I told her to expect Glenn and to tell him where I was.
Then I picked up five steaming cups of coffee and carefully attempted to balance as I exited. I made it to the car and spilled just a little as I opened the door. But as I did, a sharp, stinging sensation went through the skin in my neck just under my chin and, just as quickly, the same sensation on my left shoulder. Bees were attacking me!
“Abejas! Abejas!” Maria screamed. “Abejas! Abejas!” That’s not how you want to learn Spanish nouns, let me tell you!
Meanwhile, in the back seat, Jerry was counting them, telling me they had flown away, asking for the Splenda, and if I had a trash can in the car. And my neck was turning redder and redder and the upholstery in my car was getting a hot dousing. So was sweet Maria!
When I did finally make it to the building, Glenn was moments away from phoning the police, Bonny started pulling out essential oils for the stings (What a handy girl she is!), and Emily’s boys who were doing their school work at the table opposite us were wide-eyed at the commotion that was going on in two languages! (Home schoolers never really know what the subject matter for the day may be!) Thunder claps punctuated the excitement and the rain began to come in torrents about this time. Could something good please happen about now?
This was a day…a time, that really needed redemption…