Running low on sleep and time. In the quiet hours of morning, as I ease back into consciousness, I remind myself that it was worth it, it was worth it.

I pace the lines of cars. Of course there are no parking spaces.

I climb onto the bus, a welcome relief for my high-heel-clad feet, which are still whimpering after last night’s party. Both awkward and a coward, I avoid the attractive man sitting by himself and instead I sit next to the old lady with the chokingly floral perfume.

A short drive, and the doors open to deposit me at the church. Already late, I shuffle along the aisle and begin to make my exit.

But my shoes betray me. One moment I have control, the next I find myself with hands and limbs on the grating and cold cement, a numb pain on my shin. I inspect the damage; thank you God I didn’t land on my bad knee. Brushing off my coat and the crowd of well-meaning strangers, I stumble into church, two toes sticking out of my shoe and blood dripping down my leg. Perfect.

Grace for the moment – a little water and the damages are reduced to a bruise that matches the treads of the steps on the bus. I limp into sanctuary (realizing along the way that I was wrong about the knee), and slink into the open seat. Joy to the World. Peace be with you (and also with you). God bless you and keep you, even as you fall. Make his face to shine upon you, though you still don’t watch where you are going. And bring you peace when you flounder in embarrassment. Amen and amen.


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