Theology in the Trenches

Rainy Day Run-In
Friday, June 28, 2019
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Kathleen Kjolhaug

Religion Columnist

Yes, no, if, and, maybe … it was one of those days. I couldn’t make up my mind for love nor money. But when I did, it was one sharp left instead of a right that got me down the road in my vehicle from where this story begins.

The day seemed to be free and easy, and I felt every bit of that freedom. My to do list was done the night before and as morning broke, it ushered in the Light of day down to my toes as I rose. Quickly out the door I was on my way to town mere miles away. As I mentioned, I veered left instead of right and on a whim my travel plans from that point on … changed.

Rather than head to town for Sunday services, I promptly pointed my car in the opposite direction. I would now be arriving at my new destination in ninety minutes … which easily lined up with the ninety mile journey ahead.

There was a method to my madness. You see, upon my calendar I had penciled in a gathering I had wanted to attend. It was the last meeting of the year where many of my sisters would be. Upon my arrival I knew the warmth and love that awaited. Hospitality tops the list of what is handed out … not to mention hugs, great conversation, and a speaker. I was thrilled to be going.

On this rainy day in May I opened myself up to the journey ahead and in no time at all, I’d arrived. Unprepared to venture out into the likes of this weather, I knew the situation could be easily remedied by stopping and going at the Stop and Go if indeed they sold umbrellas. After glancing at the clock, however, I decided to pass and scooted on the few blocks ahead before leaving the protection of my vehicle.

As I stepped out into the rain, I grabbed the only protective item in the car, one large brown paper bag. Making my way up the steps to my final destination, I moved quickly … brown bagging it all the way. It was at this point I noted two others scurrying along who were also about to enter the church.

Glancing my way the dark haired woman held tightly to the leash of a “Service Dog” and a man followed behind. Lamely I mumbled something about the paper bag atop my head, and he kindly replied, “Well, that works too!”

As they entered, I once again looked back in their direction. This time, it was their profile that brought face value to this situation.

“Marianne? John?” I questioned.

They both turned at once and immediately we recognized one another as light chit-chat began. You see, Marianne had been one of my roommates in college and he was a friend of our group. They had married, and it had been over thirty years since we’d seen one another.

I made it to the gathering for which I’d come and overall it was a day filled with wonder. I am so grateful that He truly knows our needs before we even ask and that I can entrust each footstep to Him.

Morning prayer always concludes with, “God, I’m making my plans … please order my footsteps.” And He does order them. I couldn’t even dream up some of the things He’s orchestrated at times … and my guess is that He’s done the same for you.

I’d love to hear about it. Feel free to e-mail me at and tell me all about it. Your story might just brighten someone’s day as we continue to watch for the miracles. Amen.

( Kathleen Kjolhaug is a religion columnist.)