I blame my friend, Tanya Marlow, for forcing me to make room to write this one out. You can blame her, too.
Prayer for the Woman in the Minivan Putting on Her Makeup at the Stoplight
After Brian Doyle
I will say, at first, that I’m glad you weren’t checking social media or texting or even reading email while you waited, which is what I see so many people doing these days while driving, and even myself, I confess. Father, forgive me. And I know you will probably be embarrassed that I saw you leaning into the small mirror in the visor before you, carefully dragging the mascara wand through lashes you most likely think are too thin or not curly enough or too short. But in seeing you in that moment I saw the vast and vulnerable humanity of us all—caught in between here and the world to come—trying desperately in our own small and humble ways to make the world a little bit more beautiful, a little bit more worthy of being looked at in the eyes when being talked to, a little bit more redeemed. However misguided our fumbling attempts, however we contain the sunsets with gilded frames and inspirational quotes—as if the glory of the Heavens needed a paint job—we are still trying, all of us, our engines idling in the rush between dropping off the kids and getting to the meeting, to bring the world into focus, to call forth something magnificent. And you did, you know: you and Cover Girl. You showed me the face of God. And so, amen.