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A writer attending an out-of-town seminar is given a surprising reason to be thankful her luggage was lost.
Hi, I'm Edward Grinnan, editor-in-chief of Guideposts, with a true Mysterious Ways from Elizabeth Sherrill of Chappaqua, New York.
Of all times to have the airline lose her luggage! It’s only my overnight case, Elizabeth Sherrill tried to console herself, with one pair of good shoes but what a place to wind up without them!
Elizabeth had flown out to New Mexico, for a one-day seminar sponsored by the Southwest Christian Writers' Association. "No one will care about your shoes," Margaret Cheasebro, the group's president, assured her.
Doubtless Margaret was right, but even as she acknowledged it, a phrase from her church's communion service came to mind: "...we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto Thee." At all times?
At the seminar's close, several writers came up to the speaker's stand. Suddenly there was an ear-splitting crack and the sound of exploding glass. Then a woman shouted, "Lie down! Everyone!"
Through the window the woman had seen a man brandishing a gun. Later they learned that he'd been drinking and shooting at telephone poles. From the wall beyond the speaker's stand, the police recovered the tip of an electric screwdriver fired from a muzzle-loading pistol.
While Margaret filled out the police report, the rest of them relived their escape, each recalling a step forward, a second's delay that had kept him or her out of the line of fire.
For her part, Elizabeth traced a trajectory, from the window to the wall, an inch over the spot where she'd been standing. She thought of a pair of two-and-a-half-inch heels in a missing bag. She echoed an ancient prayer: "...we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto Thee."