"Of all the times to have the
airline lose my luggage! It was only my toiletries case with my one
pair of good shoes, but of all places to wind up withhout them! I'd
flown out to Farmington, New Mexico, for a one-day seminar sponsored
by the Southwest Christian Writers' Association. "No one will care
about your shoes," Margaret, the group's persident, assured me.
Doubtless Margaret was right, but of all times. Even as I said it, a phrase came to my mind:
"...we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks to Thee."
At all times. We met at the First Presbyterian
Church. At the seminar's close, several writers came up to the
speakers stand. Suddenly there was a terrifying crack. Then a woman shouted, "Lie down! Everyone!"
Two men were outside, one of them brandishing a gun. The sound of exploding glass had come from the window. Later we learned that the men had been drinking and shooting at telephone poles. From the wall beyond the speaker's stand the police recovered the tip of an electric screwdriver fired from a homemade pistol. While Margaret filled out the police report, the rest of us said good-bye, each no doubt recalling a step forward or a delay that had kept him or her out of the line of fire.
For my part, I was tracing a trajectory, from the window to the wall, an inch over the spot where I was standing. I was thinking of a pair of two-and-a-half-inch shoes in a missing bag, and echoing a prayer: "...we should at all times, and in all times, give thanks to Thee, O Lord."