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Falling into Grace

Sr. Mary didn’t particularly want to go for a bike ride. It had never worked out yet, riding in long skirts and trying to balance and all. But the Sisters were asking for her, so she thought she’d give it one more shot. They were riding rather successfully along when they came to a speed bump and a sharp turn she just couldn’t make. “I can’t make this turn!” she shouted. Panicking, trying to listen to the instruction of the Sister behind her, turning her head right as she turned the bike left, she smashed into a newly planted hedge, catapulted over the handlebars, and flipped upside down onto the lawn in a flurry of blue and white. As she lay, the bicycle splayed on top of her with its wheel turning lazily, the hedge thoroughly destroyed, and the invisible cartoon birds chirping in a circle around her head, a woman emerged from the house in her bathrobe and slippers. Looking groggy and confused, with a strange expression on her face, she cried, “Oh, my gosh!” As she helped Sr. Mary up from the lawn, they got talking. Finally, after an excess of profuse apologies from the Sisters, the woman said, “Don’t worry about it. I can get a new hedge. It is strange that you should be landing on my lawn, though.” At that, she burst into tears, pouring out her heart to the Sisters. She shared that she was going through a hard divorce, and had become very depressed. By the end of the conversation, she was laughing. “God sent you,” she said. Having Sr. Mary plough through her hedge and collapse on her lawn was for her, a sign of God’s presence and a witness to hope.

Originally printed in IMPRINT Magazine Fall 2016.