You know the people who pray for God to give them a parking spot? Well, I’m not one of them. I’ve secretly wished under my breath that a gap in cars lining the OBetian street was, indeed, a parking spot and not another driveway, or worse, a bus stop.
But this night I was desperate. Not, however, for a parking space, but for God. I was desperate for God to show up. Desperate for something to assuage my guilt and sadness that the world completely and undisputedly sucked. I had just watched “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” and the pain and injustice, the Nazis and concentration camps, hatred and selfishness and suffering, was too much to bear. This was in addition to the semester I had spent on a “Poverty Tour of Central America” that left me numb and questioning everything I had ever known about God and grace. I was also currently reading “Mountains Beyond Mountains” that detailed the overwhelming disease and injustice in Haiti.
I was desperate.
So I prayed about my parking space. Not that I would get one, but that I wouldn’t get one. I prayed a frantic prayer relinquishing my entitlement to a parking space if it meant one woman in Haiti wouldn’t die of tuberculosis that night. I breathed out please please please God DO NOT give me a parking spot.
But he did.
And not just any parking spot. The closest parking spot I’d encountered at that hour the entire time I’d lived at that house. Smack dab outside my front door. That was the final unstable plank in my Jenga composure. I performed the most excruciating parking job of my life, ran inside to my bathroom, and collapsed before my God.