Maureen Locher photoLadies, have you ever had a day when you wanted to throttle your husband? A day when Mars and Venus weren’t far enough off the mark, but Mercury to the demoted Pluto came closer to describing your desired proximity to your spouse? At times like this why do we always seem to be sequestered in the confines of a moving car?

I remember the catalyst, but it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that before my dear darling husband set foot out of Sunday Mass, he was plenty irritated with someone. "Someone" dominoed into another, and before we reached our car, others were hypothetically flattened. Why? Why as I left my happy place of Mass couldn’t my peace have lasted a few seconds? Was that too much to ask? Apparently it was.

The macho funnel cloud picked up speed as we drove to our favorite breakfast spot, only to drive out of the parking lot as it was so packed with cars. Twister approaching tornado force. I was behind the wheel thinking, What happened? How stupid is this? Luckily this day our grown children did not accompany us to Mass. One small blessing.

I am not "I Dream of Jeanie," so I couldn’t blink myself out of the car. Calgon needs water to work, so that option was out too. And I was in – in that car with someone I had to keep reminding myself had just received the Body and Blood of Christ! OK, Christ, when are you going to kick in? Anytime now would be good.

If we thought the first parking lot was jammed, it was nothing compared to the second. Lovely, just lovely. On a good day Hubby hates to wait. We wait and wait and wait inside the restaurant for our name to be called. Mercifully, we are seated. I gave Mt. Vesuvius "the view," leaving his sour mug as my view.

And then she touched me – so lovingly, so tender was her touch, I turned anticipating an unexpected friend or family member. But I didn’t know this woman. And then she touched the ogre just as lovingly.

I was in the presence of God, and I knew it.

I had been powerless to change my view, but God knew what to do. He sent me a gift who talked to us as if we were her dear children. Her voice, her manner, the glint in her eye, drew us from our misery and kept us captive in her magnetic light. The tension eased. The ogre turned back into a man.

I watched this angel as she spread her cheer to others, just as Dudley did in The Bishop’s Wife. With a mere touch she stopped a runaway train in its tracks. I have a feeling she righted many more lives than ours that day.

As we left the restaurant did I hear the jingle-jangle of a bell? I do believe our heavenly waitress earned her wings that day.

Copyright 2009 Maureen Locher