Monday, June 04, 2012

Momma Lena Got Keys...Divine Irony in Motion

This from Lena:

I cried in front of the tester the day I took my driver's license test.  I was 24 years old.  I slept less the night before I took that test than I did the night before I got married, a few months later.  My wise fiance had challenged me  to finally kill the beast and get my license, thus making me a more equal partner in the marriage rather than someone he would have to cater to.  I knew it was the right thing.  I was petrified.

I had never parallel-parked successfully.  Ever.  The evening before I spent crying out to God for help. I went to my prayer closet a desperate woman.  I remember hearing one thing in my heart--that I was to cast out my net one more time, like Peter when he had fished all night and had not caught anything.  One hour before my scheduled test, I went out to the driveway gripping my cones, full of grim determination.  I managed to pull off one successful park, and then it was off to the exam.  I cried so hard in the car when the tester corrected me that he asked my if my boyfriend beat me.  Oh my.  I don't even know why he gave me the license, because he could have flunked me.  But I got it.

I wanted to tell you this story, because I want you to grasp how extremely ridiculous it is that God sent me to a city of 9 million people,  teeming with 20-year-old minivans with doors that don't even close anymore that dodge in and out of traffic, and buses doing the same, not to mention taxis that make it impossible to take a right turn from the right-hand have to see it to believe it.  Or live in Africa or India.  Or Mexico City.  Someplace like that.   There is nothing in the States that comes close.

Divine Irony.  His power made perfect in our weakness.  It has taken me close to three years, but I am no longer paralyzed by the thought of driving in Lima at night.  I drive about an hour in Lima traffic Wednesday nights to our dear church, located in an area where you don't tell taxis you are going, or they won't take you there.  The further out I get, the more mototaxis there are, which I call buzzy bees, because that is the sensation they create as they zip through traffic.  Sometimes something a little scary happens, but mostly I am just so thankful not to be petrified anymore to do it.

I am not telling this story to make you think I am courageous or special.  It is just the opposite.  I am telling you because it knocks my socks off that the Lord has taken me this far.  I still can't parallel park for beans, and I stink at judging whether I can fit in a parking space.  I know I look like a dork at some point most days, wielding my huge minivan through the streets of Lima, and I wonder if my kids' friends are like, "Are you SURE you want to ride with Mrs. SHRADER?"   If the angels get a good laugh watching me run the streets of Lima,  I suppose that is fine with me as long as they keep me out trouble.  And if the Lord gets special delight out of watching his timid little Ohio driver take on traffic so she can be a worthy partner with Him, I am alright with that, too.