Friday, July 9, 2010

Shattered Glass

Those looking for signs from God are likely to find them pretty much anywhere — sometimes real, sometimes imagined. Therein lies the danger in assigning too much supernatural import to natural occurrences. Case in point: My broken glass.

A little back story:

I’ve been wavering for some time now on whether I should enter the San Francisco Marathon. I started training for the race while recovering from the injury that sidelined me from running L.A. Now that I’m as ready as I’ll ever be (ran 20 miles last Sunday), I’m inclined to go for it. How cool would it be to run across the Golden Gate Bridge — and back?

But I’m not sure I should. There are some practical considerations: Do I drag my family some 400 miles up to the Bay Area and back? Or do I go without them (something I hate to do)? What about the cost? Are my knees healthy enough? After running almost exclusively on flatlands during my training, could I handle the hills? (My friend/running buddy Tim assures me the hills won’t be so bad. So, if it doesn’t work out, I can always blame him!)

Amidst all this indecision comes the broken glass.

It happened Tuesday night while I was doing some work in my bedroom. One of my dear children, who shall remain nameless, dropped a water glass on the kitchen floor. I heard it shatter, but no one was hurt, so I returned to my work and quickly forgot all about it.

Meanwhile Mary Kate, desperate to get the kids to bed at a reasonable hour, put off cleaning up the glass until they were all tucked in. Made sense: They were all headed off to their bedrooms anyhow, and it’s much easier to clean up a dangerous mess without little ones around.

But soon after forgetting about the glass, I decided to head into the kitchen to refill my water bottle. And, as is my tendency, I was walking barefoot. I walked straight up to the sink when — uh-oh — I felt it: Shards of glass pressing into the sole of my left foot.

My first thought was:, “Well, so much for San Francisco.” Visions of a night in the ER rushed into my head.

But then I looked down to discover — amazingly — that none of the shards had so much as broken my skin. I had felt the glass early enough and thus not stepped down any harder. Crisis averted.

And of course, that led me to the next thought: Clearly this is a sign that God wants me to run San Francisco!

Er, maybe. More likely this is a sign that I’ve found evidence to support doing what I already wanted to do. But who knows, He works in mysterious ways.

Meanwhile my friends Ted & Jane have generously offered to put me up for the night, to drive me to and from the airport, and even to pick up my race packet for me. More signs?

I think I’m Bay-bound. St. Francis, pray for me!


  1. Signs - they are so hard to see and make sense of...I think you knew deep down what you wanted to do, and that desire was placed there with God's help. I think a sure sign is that your body has healed enough to do the distance. Good luck in your training.

  2. As far as signs go, stepping on broken glass without injury sure sounds like you had the hand of God protecting you! May you have a blessed run!