Calm In The Storm

She is driving down the parkway in a driving rain.
The tears pouring down her cheeks match the raindrops pelting
the windshield, blurring her vision. She’s in emotional pain!
Her wheels wander across the centerline. Cars swerve, horns blaring.

She jerks her car back into her lane. “A wreck is all I need now!”
The near-accident breaks her emotional dam; sobs pouring forth in
staccato waves, she pulls onto the shoulder, car under control somehow.
Snuffling, “Lord, how much must I endure? When will it all ever end?”

She rests her head against the steering wheel, falling deep into despair.
Her loving husband died six months back in a freakish boating accident.
His life insurance company is still investigating the whole affair -
tragedy or suicide? Their questioning has marred her bereavement.

Had he truly loved her? Did he willingly choose to end their life together?
She was left to raise their three young children alone. Their meager savings
quickly spent, she went back to work…one adjustment following another -
single parenthood, new job, new daycare, financial worries overbearing.

And now, her youngest daughter has had the flu… it was just the flu…
but not wanting to unnecessarily spend money not had, she hadn’t taken her
to the doctor. This morning the girl awoke with a fever exceeding 102
and difficulty breathing. The doctor said if her pneumonia was any further

advanced she would have been hospitalized and it is still touch and go.
If she doesn’t respond well to antibiotic therapy within a day, her life
will become endangered. “It’s my fault! She could die…I love her so.
I am a terrible mother. And did Bill kill himself because I was a bad wife?”

Her elderly neighbor is watching her children while she is driving to get
the prescription for oral antibiotic filled. “Please help her. Let her survive.
I could not continue on should she die. That I caused it I’d never forget…”
Her months of hardships and doubt have left her faith wounded, barely alive.

Emotionally exhausted, weary in her soul, sinking deeper into dark despair,
she sits head bowed, forehead pressing into the steering wheel, softly sobbing,
listening to the rain beat against the car…suddenly silence is everywhere.
She peeks up. The dingy dreariness of the day is now replaced by sun shining.

Outside her car is an oasis of bright light and quiet. Cautiously, she steps out
into this peace and calm, an instant balm for her troubled soul. A shaft of
brilliant light is streaming through a small break in the rain clouds, without
the rain diminishing all around. She feels bathed in an atmosphere of love.

She stands there in the healing light, feeling its warmth to her inner core.
All doubts, her hopelessness, her depression evaporate in the wondrous light.
“Now I know everything will be all right in my life. I shall suffer no more,”
speaks a voice beside her. Startled, she finds another woman there. “Might

you be an angel?” she asks this stranger. “Hardly. I had just about given
up on life, even considering ending it all, when I drove into this…this
strange eye in the storm.” Arm in arm they stand, as car after car is driven
pass. Finally, a man stops, runs over under an umbrella, “Is anything amiss?

“Why are you two standing out in this downpour? What are you looking at?”
The two women smile but keep marveling at the amazing sight. Swearing,
he gives up. “Crazy women!”, as he drives away. How long they stand like that
neither knows. Eventually, the opening in the thunderhead begins closing.

The ladies hug, return smiling to their cars. Despair, hopelessness no longer stain
their mind. With peace and confidence they head back into the driving rain…

Harry Edward Gilleland      03.17.03