A few days ago a friend of mine issued a challenge to read The Book of Mormon with her by December 31. I was excited about the challenge. That afternoon something happened that brought out the Mother Bear in me and I read the first 10 pages to calm down. I have been reading but my mind has been wandering a lot. I know the story well which is part of the problem. This morning I told Heath that I’m going to keep reading but so far I wasn’t getting much out of it. He encouraged me to keep going with it.
We always watch the news in the morning for traffic and weather. Since today is Veteran’s Day and a lot of people have the day off the Bay Bridge was almost empty around 6:30 –6:45 am. Heath said if today’s agenda was different he would take advantage of the light traffic. Instead he was going to take the BART train in.
He left for work and I muted the TV while I finished reading the last chapter for today’s reading schedule. I finished reading and was still frustrated and annoyed by the minutia of my life. I got a movie going for the kids so I could workout in peace. They woke up before 6:30 this morning. I love days off when they do that! (sarcasm font) I was about to switch the TV over so I could use the Wii when I noticed the muted news.
It said: BREAKING NEWS! BAY BRIDGE TRAFFIC STOPPED
Holy what? I stared at the bridge full of stopped cars for a few moments before I thought to unmute the TV. Apparently there was a man who had made a distraught 911 call to police. He had his 16 year old daughter in the car so it was being treated as a hostage situation. He said he had explosives in his car. He was brandishing a gun and threatening to jump. The newsroom didn’t know he had threatened to blow up the bridge. Cars were stopped all across the bridge and backed up for miles and miles trying to get into San Francisco.
I watched for a few minutes wishing I could turn it off. The whole scene looked like it was straight out of a movie. Only this is real life. The thought that this is real never escaped my mind. The newscasters were talking over each other trying to say all they knew which wasn’t much. The traffic guy was trying to say what he knew from listening to the police dispatch. He didn’t know much either or at least he couldn’t say some details. The man was out of his car and on his cell phone with police. All anyone said was that he was distraught and angry about something. The traffic helicopter zoomed in on the man on his phone. At one point he leaned against the side of the bridge and crossed one leg over the other as if he was talking to a buddy to pass the time during a traffic jam.
This whole time I’m crying. It was scary to watch even though it looked so surreal. I was so grateful Heath took BART in to work today. But then I looked at all the other motorists who had no idea what was happening and I wondered why we were the lucky ones. A million more thoughts went through my mind. Every time they said the man had mental issues I pictured one of my 6th grade students. He received Special Education services and nobody liked him. He was very immature for his age and really hard to reach. He died two years later. He was out skateboarding with a friend one night and was hit by a car that didn’t see him. Looking at this man brought that memory back to me for some reason. Then the man turned and swung his leg over the side of the bridge and I lost it. He immediately brought his leg back and continued to talk.
I had to turn it off. So I did my workout. Then I switched the TV back to HDMI mode and the bridge was there again. I watched in disbelief for several more minutes as nothing new was revealed. They said they had a reporter on scene and she was talking to people waiting at the toll plaza. The cars had been stopped for about 90 minutes. As the reporter was starting to sign off the voice of a man yelled, “They have him in custody!” It was the traffic guy who later apologized for yelling that across the newsroom. The situation ended. The man was in custody. His daughter was safe. His SUV was being searched for explosives and traffic was allowed to slowly get across the bridge to safety.
After visions of the entire bridge collapsing in a cloud of smoke and fire the situation was finally over. A miracle. (here is the story if you want to read it. Divorce is really getting on my nerves lately!)
Then I found out about something that may be a way to have all our hopes and dreams come true. Another miracle? Even if it doesn’t pan out I can’t believe all of our options right now that are literally falling out of the sky. That’s the miracle.
This morning when I prayed, this was before I knew about the bridge, I started to ask for blessings. Then I stopped and said all I want is peace. I have been an emotional wreck this week. The tiniest things are setting me off. All I need is peace. It’s a tumultuous world and I can’t say I have had a moment today where I have had complete peace. I have to get out of my head first - stop, and just be. But I see these little miracles all around me. Just this morning I saw my bookmark that is a poem about miracles and I was mad. Not that I don’t believe in miracles but I have been cranky for days and the bookmark seemed to be mocking me. It’s true though. There are miracles all around us. God loves us. He knows each of us individually and He cares about us. Our cares and worries are His cares and worries. This thought came to me very powerfully today. Miracles are all around us if we will just open our eyes to see them. Maybe I’m getting more out of my reading than I thought!
Today I am thankful for miracles.