“Late again,” I thought as I pulled into the church parking lot.

One of the things I enjoy on weekends is welcoming the congregation and reading the announcements at church before the service begins.

As I peeked in the sanctuary, I could see that the service was underway. Someone had filled in for me.

Generally, Bill and I arrive at church a tad on the early side.

But that particular Sunday, Bill recovering from an unfortunate encounter with a tree, so it fell to me to keep track of the time.

When Bill and I leave the house together, the sequence runs something like this:

Bill: “Are you about ready?”
Val: “Almost. Give me one more minute.”
Bill: “I’ll wait in the car.”
Val: (inspecting Bill’s outfit,) “Don’t you think you should wear something better for church?’
Bill: “This is fine. We have to leave now.”

And off we go!

But this particular Sunday, this usual, familiar comforting sequence did not take place. Left to my own devices I lost track of time.

It boiled down to not getting my act together.

What had I done in this 15 minute gap?
I lost those minutes by:

Hemming and hawing about what to wear.

Finding two matching socks.

Hunting for my good coat.

Noticing a big spot on the front of my good coat.

Finding another coat.

Checking to see that the stove was off.

For the next hour, I tried to concentrate on the service, but reminders of my lateness intruded.

After the service, I apologized for my lateness.

“We’re just glad you here and that you are OK,” my friends reassured.

How sweet those words sounded!

How comforting to be welcomed by friends in spite of our shortcomings!

Readers, what shortcomings have your friends accepted.

What was that like for you?

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