Cowards die many times before their deaths;  the valiant never taste of death but once.
—- William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar

Surely it must be better to die just once than to die many times (or a thousand times, as the quote is sometimes  rendered) before one’s death.  But I have learned that I am vulnerable, and that leaves me open to many premature deaths.  Some years ago I woke up feeling all happy and perky and driving home from church, rounding a corner, ran into a little girl who wanted to cross the street.  OK, so she wasn’t looking, and I was going slowly, and she wasn’t hurt at all.   But all day it kept running through my mind, “This morning I hit a little girl with my car!”  It could have been so much worse.  She could have been killed.  I could have been sued.  My life as I knew it could have been over.   I had found out I was vulnerable.  And that one never knows what the next day might bring.

Ten days ago I fell off the bottom step of St. Francis Church in Mount Kisco onto my face.  The force of the impact of my face onto the sidewalk was such that I thought surely my cheekbone had been shattered.  I suffered abrasions of my right hand, left knee, and a cracked rib as well.  As the day wore on the face hurt less and the rib hurt more.  As the week wore on I developed a beaut of a black eye and had some sleep-deprived nights because of the pain of turning over in bed.  At this point my face has almost reverted to its normal color and the rib is allowing me to sleep quite well.

Two outcomes:   First, I am  so very grateful that I did not land with that much force on my nose which would have resulted in a bloody mess and probably nose-rearrangement surgery. And, second, I have developed a “sidewalk phobia.”   What to do?  Sidewalks are all over the place!   When one’s face has been so intimate with a sidewalk it is not an experience one wants to repeat.

Sooner or later we all find out that we are vulnerable.   Something could fall from the sky onto you.  An ill wind could blow you over.  Your loved ones could have a terrible accident.  There are wars and rumors of wars.  Some people don’t seem to think that love is the answer.  It is dangerous out there.

It would be easy to live scared and die a thousand deaths.  How can I cope with my sidewalk phobia?  Well, I tell myself that I am not an accident resulting from the chance coming together of billions of atoms.  Mankind with all his science and technology has not been able to make a single living cell and yet here I am, a marvelous being whose DNA contains encyclopedias of information.  Happenstance?   I don’t think so.   I believe I am fearfully and wonderfully made by SOMEONE with an intelligence beyond imagination and that I am made for a reason.   I think this someone has gone out of his way to show his creatures that he loves them, sending myriads of messages in many, many ways. In fact, I once, personally, heard a voice from out of the blue  which said to me, “My people, I love you. Do not be afraid.”

My penny says:  ” In God We Trust.”     Me, too.

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And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28