Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Thinking Time

I am in Kotsy's, a local diner, waiting for a friend I'm meeting for breakfast. I think she's forgotten, or maybe I got the days mixed up.

I am enjoying being out and about earlier than usual, and the early morning sunshine streaming through the window. Having some extra thinking time is not such a bad thing either.

I figure she's not coming so I order a modest toasted bagel with cream cheese instead of the artery busting Early Bird Special I would have ordered if not alone, wondering why it should make a difference. I conclude that I must be a social eater.

I think about yesterday morning's CBC radio program, Fresh Air, that included an interview with the curator of the Kingston Penitentiary Museum. Among other interesting facts, he said that in the 19th century, the prisoners were ordered to observe a rule of silence. There was to be no conversing at all with other prisoners, and with the guards they were to use as few words as possible. The idea was to give the prisoners time to reflect upon their crimes and to repent. Hence, "Penitentiary" and the monastic idea of penitence. I too, am grateful for reflecting time, with a dose of repentance thrown in.

Over the weekend I was wearing Blunder Boots as I clumsily trod on relational toes, miscommunicating and causing hurt. I'm grateful for the opportunity of forgiveness, healing, and maybe even that my bumbling will be forgotten. I resolve to practice more careful ways of expressing my thoughts.

Over the news on the diner radio, I hear the report of the fatal car accident on highway 400, just 3 km from our home, early on Saturday morning. The 19 year old driver exited his vehicle after an accident, and was killed as a truck plowed into him and his vehicle. His two young passengers are in critical condition in hospital. One of them attended our church with his family when he was younger. It seems that alcohol was a factor in the original accident that left the car stranded in the middle of the highway.

In an instant life can change forever and now, three lives (including the truck driver's,) will never be the same.

I pray for the boys in the accident, and the truck driver--their families too. I pray for forgiveness, and healing, physically and emotionally...and even one day, that they can put the memory of this terrible weekend behind them.


Deidra said...

I've often wondered about the word "penitentiary" and how it must be connected to penitence and repentance. Thanks for unwrapping that for me.

The news of the young man who was killed tugs at my heart. In our state, three teenagers - a brother, sister and their cousin - were killed when their car was struck by a train. They interviewed the dad this morning on the news, exposing his grief for the world to see. These young ones and those who loved them fill my prayers this morning.

Belinda said...

Deidra, I am so sorry about the teenagers killed in your state, my heart goes out to their families and friends.