My mom loves to tell this story and connect it to Psalm 46: God is our refuge and strength; a refuge in distress is found greatly which is her translation–she likes the passive; or another, more famous: A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing. Anyway, this happened in July.
I was working at Prudential Missoula Properties on South Avenue. My mom is my job coach. I was having a good day—I had done everything correctly except I had forgotten to sign out.
We had already said goodbye to Gina who had locked up. I could not get back inside.
`I’m sorry, Mathalia. Remember the time and write it down next week.’
Just then Clint came out the door! Yeah! This would save my mom from hearing about my forgetfulness all weekend and it would save me my frustration. I was so happy. After I signed out, my mom helped me cross South Avenue. The cars whiz on by me so someone always helps me cross South Avenue, usually it is Gina but on this day it was my mom. Then she encouraged me one more time to `hurry up’ before she left me to ride home on her bike.
I was not quick. Bus #1 drove right past me. I had to wait 15 minutes for the next bus. While I waited it started to rain. It really rained really really hard!
And then . . .
My mom was `freaking out’ because I came home DRY.
`Mathalia! Why aren’t you wet? I got soaking wet on my bike from the thunderstorm. I had to change my clothes and put on a sweater to get warm. How can you be so dry?’
Well, I didn’t say anything; I thought my mom should `chill’ because everything was fine.
`Did someone give you a ride home? Or did you take the bus?’
`How can you be dry? It was pouring rain when I left you and you had to wait 15 minutes for the Bus.”
I just unpacked my Prudential stuff and let her figure it out: in the closet with our other umbrellas.
She `freaked out’ again! `Mathalia who gave you this umbrella?’
Just chill, mom, please.
`Mathalia! Tell me what happened? You missed the first bus! You were waiting. There was a thunderstorm. Please tell me! Use your words!’
`I forgot timesheet.’
`AGH! Mathalia! Timesheet is not important! HOW did you get this umbrella?!’
By this time she was blubbering and giving thanks and saying all sorts of silly things: an umbrella in thunderstorm is found greatly: don’t know who gave it or what happened but it is found—passive voice–which shows what kind of city we live in and what kind of care God has for His people.
The next day she made me stand at the same bus stop, holding the big beautiful umbrella open even though it was not raining. Silly mom.