Friday, August 7, 2009

Misadventures in parking

This wasn't me.  Honest.  Photo credit: fuzzcat on Flickr
I used to be amused when people in church would ask for prayer for an unspoken request. I mean, I get that not everything is appropriate for sharing, but besides piquing people's curiosity, it is a little difficult to pray when you have no idea what you are praying for. One person I know simply offers up a moment of silence for any unspoken requests. :D

Anyway, aggravating as it may be, there is a situation stressing me out that I won't be blogging publicly about. However, if you have the inclination, any prayers for truth, righteousness and justice to triumph (in other words, me--lol) would be appreciated. Of course, it really isn't that simple, but anyway...

While waiting for things to be resolved on that end, it is comforting to me that even little details that have no lasting importance can come together and work out for good.

Yesterday, I took the kidlets to the aquarium and was running late to meet a friend. So I took the first available parking spot. The good news was that it was right in the front row. The bad news is that it was a tight squeeze and I was coming in from a bad angle. I am an excellent driver. Sadly, I am a terrible parker. I don't know if it is a problem with depth perception or what, but I am terrible at gauging the amount of space I have and parking in a beautifully straight line with equal distance between my van and the lines on each side.

I blame part of it on the size of our van, but really, the fault is mine, I know. As soon as I got in, I knew that I was waaaaay too close to the SUV on my right. I also knew that any attempt to back out and correct it would cause paint to scrape. At least we had the exact same color vehicle. As long as the other car just backed straight out, it would be fine. But if I tried, it would be certain doom. In case you think I am overstating the danger, allow me to add that I once ripped up the fender of Carlos' car by scraping it against his boss' house while backing out! I am still mortified, even though it was ten years ago. I acknowledge my limitations openly now.

I was hoping fervently that the owner of the SUV wouldn't happen to come out while I was there and give me an earful on the terrible parking job. Instead of an instant exit, it took a couple of minutes as I got shoes on Joel, ran a brush through Ariana's hair and then got all three kids out. I heard the unbelieving jeers and comments of a few people who passed by, but the owner didn't appear. Whew! I gathered the tattered shreds of my dignity and went inside.

While we were admiring the sharks and jellyfish, a part of me was hoping against hope that the owner of the SUV was finished and ready to leave. I weighed the possibility of getting the license plate number, having the person paged, throwing myself on their mercy and explaining my predicament. Humiliating, yes, but better than scraping paint as a last resort. But what if they left and someone else took their spot?

Eventually, even the sting rays lost the power to fascinate the kidlets and we started to leave. Though the parking lot was several yards from the door, I could see the SUV there, and my heart sank. I sent up a prayer begging for mercy. I also begged my friend to try getting the van out through the needle-eye margin. Being a truthful person, she laughed in my face and refused. Being my friend, she tried to comfort me afterward.

Then, as all hope was gone, to my utter amazement, a little old lady on a walker hobbled up to the door of the SUV, shook her head over my degenerate parking job, climbed in and flawlessly backed out. Perhaps she was thinking profane thoughts, but she looked like the sweet, grandmotherly type to just mutter 'Bless her heart," instead.

Full of relief, I walked the kids to the van and got them buckled in. As I checked the rearview mirror, I saw further evidence of the miraculous--the parking spaces behind me were empty, so I had plenty of room to maneuver. Don't laugh. The parking lot was cramped and narrow, which was part of the reason I wasn't able to straighten out when I parked originally. At this point, I was so grateful to not have to worry about misjudging distance and dinging another car.

Now, I know that many will insist that God has much better things to do than help me out of a literal tight spot. I agree. In the grand scheme of things, why should God answer a prayer for help that was admittedly frivolous when so many more important things are going on? Being infinite, He doesn't have to prioritize time and interest. He can take care of it all. Sure, it could have all been pure coincidence. Even so, I took it as a gentle reminder that nothing is too big or small for Him, that He cares, and that maybe, just maybe, He wants to encourage me to expand the scope of my prayers, for all people and situations.


granny2five said...

Ahhh! I fear you may take after your mama in at least ONE area of your life! I snickered as I read this. You have no idea how many others have found themselves in similar predicaments but have never had the nerve to admit it. You go, girl!

BTW, sent up a silent prayer while reading your post!

dulce de leche said...

Thank you for both the comment and the prayer! :)

Carrie said...

So funny!

I hate parking also.

Maria said...

My nemesis is straight on parking. Parallel? No problem. Angle? No problem. Straight on-- UGLY!

P.S. More prayers from me on your behalf. :)