May 27, 2005

Faithful Lines / Shirley Vogler Meister

Sharing aftermath of 'big crash' and prayer

A Floridian friend, Jack Moore, made us laugh when responding to an e-mail I sent this month after he visited Indianapolis briefly. I had offered “thanks” from my husband, Paul, and me for a relaxing meal at Claddagh Irish Pub, but I also shared what I call the “big crash” in our home a few days later.

The “crash” included a sudden computer shutdown while I was finishing the final paragraph of last week’s “Faithful Lines.” I had not yet saved it. Eventually, before Paul revived the computer, I said a prayer to St. Anthony, patron saint of lost items, “Please find that column.” It turned up completely intact!

So, Jack shared this about his wife, who lost a battle with cancer in 2003: “Evelyn was always talking to Tony [as Jack calls St. Anthony]. She had him on ‘speed dial.’ I kept asking her to ask him to find my brain, but she said he couldn’t find something I never had.”

“Had St. Anthony been at work or what?” I had asked Jack, knowing the answer already. “Tony sure is a busy saint,” Jack said, adding that “St. Jude has been working on a problem for me and at least a part of it has been taken care of. Now I have to find a way to publish a ‘thank you’ for him.”

Well, Jack, consider your “thank you” for St. Jude in print here. I’m happy to remind readers that saints—including deceased friends and family—are a great comfort to us through intercessory prayers.

Rather than belabor that point, however, let me explain the “big crash” that inspired my prayer. It was so loud I thought a small plane hit the roof of our two-story home. Then I realized if that were so, I’d be dead. I checked outdoors, expecting to find a tree through the roof. Nothing! I contacted Paul, who was ­elsewhere. He, too, was puzzled over our lack of electricity, eventually checking the wiring inside the garage adjacent to the computer room.

He returned, calmly saying, “Would you like to see what caused that loud noise?” The chaotic debris made me think a whirlwind had been inside. Also calm, I asked, “How could that happen?” Answer: All but one beam in the rafters had splintered and fallen along with everything stored above. Why? We’re not sure, but it was a sickening sight, especially since only six months before family members spent a weekend cleaning and reorganizing the garage so we could put a car in there during the winter.

“Thank God!” neither Paul nor I nor the car was in the garage when this happened. “Thank God!” for our calm and prayer and a sense of humor.

(Shirley Vogler Meister, a member of Christ the King Parish in Indianapolis, is a regular columnist for The Criterion.)

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