Stuff Happens


A year or so ago, I had gone home for lunch, and was returning to work in my truck when a vulture vomited on me. That’s not usually what one would expect when driving to work after lunch. I looked up through the window just in time to see the vulture’s steaming, stinking lunch sail through the air and land–splat!–on the windshield. It took a trip to the car wash to get the mess–and the odor–off my truck.

Maybe six months before that, I had to make a trip to the emergency room because I dropped a starter on my head. I was lying on the ground, installing it in my pickup, and my hands slipped. At first all I felt was a dull headache, and I cursed my own awkwardness. Then salty blood got in my eyes, and I knew my repair project would have to wait.

A few years before that, I made another visit to the emergency room when–once again–my hand slipped during a car repair and I got a metal spring driven through my finger–in one side and out the other. I was replacing the clutch on my son’s International Scout, my feet slipped, my hand slipped, and the end of the spring went through my finger. The bad part was having to tell my story again and again as I wandered through the halls of the emergency room with a large, rusty spring sticking straight out from my finger.

Fortunately, I survived all of these incidents. Just as I will survive what happened to me last night.

Returning home after a nice meal at a Mexican restaurant, Shelly and I entered a darkened house. I got into the kitchen and felt something I had never felt before, yet immediately identified. A moth had flown into my ear. Instead of flying back out, it crawled deeper and deeper into the ear canal. Shelly looked in to verify that, yes, there was indeed a moth in there, but neither one of us could get it out. In the meantime the fluttering threatened to drive me crazy. We both got on the Internet to see what could be done. Amazingly, having moths fly in your ear is apparently more common than you would expect. We tried using tweezers and warm water. Finally, in desperation, I had Shelly pour mineral oil into my ear to kill it.

Now it’s dead, but it’s still in there. I am planning a trip to the doctor today to see if she is more successful in getting it out than we have been. In the meantime, the obvious questions comes up: why do things like these happen?

The Bible says: “…for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matthew 5:45). I could spend my time asking, why me, Lord? But I also remember for every bad thing that has happened in my life, I can count at least two, or three, or ten good things that have happened as well. I am convinced that being blessed in many cases is simply a matter of recognizing what God has already given us. And when we remember these times, it’s a lot easier to bear with vultures barfing on you, or starters turning your forehead bloody.

The other part of this is simply this: stuff happens. And then we move on.

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