We did a silly thing. We went to a violin rehearsal, despite the flash flood warnings, with the thought that if the weather was really that bad, surely it would have been canceled.
Trying to get home, and circling helplessly with all the other soggy cars on the south-west side of Lafayette, I was at a bit of a loss. Kaliste Saloom Road was flooded. Ambassador Caffery was flooded. Broadmoor was flooded. I didn’t dare try Verot School Road. For all the hurricanes and flash floods we’ve lived through down here, I’ve never actually been in a situation where I couldn’t get home because of the water on the road, and it was nearing 8pm, so I wasn’t sure what we should do.
Fortunately, a good friend of ours lives very close to where we were stuck. The kind of friend one can call at eight o’clock at night and ask to drop in. I called her, and we spent an hour and a half on her couch, waiting for the water to go down and drinking lavender chamomile tea.
When it seemed reasonable to try again, we set out, with the assurance that we could come back and sleep on the couches if we still couldn’t get through.
Needless to say, I prayed all the way home.
And we made it – the road already looked like we had just had any normal rain shower, not a near crisis.
So it was late when I went to bed, but I had been slack about my prayer time during the last few days, so I picked up the little devotional I’ve been using (The Reckless Way of Love: Notes on Following Jesus, which is a collection of excerpts from Dorothy Day’s writings) and this was the reading up next:
Pouring rain today. I stayed in, resting – feeling exhausted. Sorrow, grief, exhaust one. Then tonight the prayers, the rosaries I’ve been saying were answered. And the feeling that prayers are indeed answered when we cry out for help was a comfort in itself. I had the assurance that they were answered, though it might not be now.Dorothy Day, from The Duty of Delight, quoted in The Reckless Way of Love
Well. First of all, “stayed in, resting” sounded like what we should have done.
But we didn’t, and during the course of the evening I’d been getting these little nudges – “only do the necessary shopping so you can be back sooner.” Lucy finished early, and would have waited a half hour in the rain for me if I had done my usual Monday night rounds. “Turn around…” repeatedly. “Just call Danielle, already!”
When I read the next half of the devotional entry, I had no doubt that my guardian angel had been working overtime:
I would not perhaps see the results. “Praised be God, the God of consolation. He comforts us in all our afflictions and enables us to comfort those who are in trouble, with the same consolation we have had from him” (2 Cor. 1:3-4). Suffering draws us to prayer and we are comforted. Or at least strengthened to continue in faith, and hope, and love.Dorothy Day, from The Duty of Delight, quoted in The Reckless Way of Love
Our friends were the consolation we needed – literally safe harbor in a storm. What could have been an evening sitting in our car in the Books-A-Million parking lot waiting for the rain to stop ended up instead being an evening of comfort and conversation. My panic was soothed: we had a place to sleep if needed. My friends’ superior knowledge of the roads in the area strengthened me to continue.
God knows that, despite his long history of faithfulness to me, sometimes I need a reminder that he will provide for me. This week, it came in the form of good friends and chamomile tea.