Our family rotates through theme songs.  During this season, for example, The Husband and his girls are all about the Wicked soundtrack.  They drive together with the windows wide in his NYC repo Crown Vic ride like an undercover Broadway audition, belting out show tune after show tune at the top of their lungs.  Hair dances everywhere in the backseat wind tunnel, and the girls occasionally have to pick it from their teeth like unwaxed dental floss, because it’s hard to sing with such abandon without getting hair stuck in your bicuspids sometimes.

About five years ago, the song was Jesus, Take the Wheel.

About the time Carrie Underwood enjoyed her American Idol adventures, the family and I found a church.  There was something that stirred all of us about Jesus, Take the Wheel, especially The Oldest Girl and The Middle Girl.  They internalized it to the extent that they entertained family and friends with their rendition complete with choreographed movements in sync.

My beloved grandmother, Beauty, inspired their best show.  The Oldest Girl fell to her knees and sang from the bottom of her earnest, healed heart while looking directly into my Beauty’s proud, moist face.  There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

Time goes on as it always does, and we went to another song.  And as much as we heard it and sang it then, I hadn’t thought about it in years.

Until yesterday.

We were in a car accident yesterday morning.

No one was hurt.

Everybody’s OK.

Long story short, the vehicle ahead of the car directly in front of us suddenly slammed on its breaks.  The car directly ahead of us hit his breaks, and swerved to the shoulder to avoid hitting the first car.  I had time to break and swerve to miss him, but the vehicle behind us was unable to maneuver or stop in time, and she rammed into the back of our truck.

The accident happened at 8:05 a.m., on an interstate less than three miles from our front door as I was driving my four children to school.

At the time of the accident inside the truck, the kids and I were engaged in a daily routine.  We were praying together.

After the initial slam of impact and making certain everyone was uninjured, The Oldest Girl observed, “Mamma, we were praying.”

It wasn’t until later in the day, after the logistics of getting the kids to school in another vehicle, (Papa’s car, and they probably belted Wicked all the way to their schools) the accident report, insurance procedures, etc. that I thought about Jesus, Take the Wheel, again.

It was actually The  Mamma In-Law who brought it to mind.  As always, she held me over the phone lines as I shared my account of the experience, and after making certainly certain her beloved grandbabies were well, she ministered to my stress.

No one was hurt.

Everybody was OK, but it was the first time I experienced a close call with my children.  I realized what could have happened, and am deeply humbled to realize that The Husband could have gotten a very different kind of phone call.

I remember how cold I felt when The Oldest Girl was sick and I was stripped of my Maternal Coat.  I thought I’d been shocked beyond surprise by the reality that reality interrupts my life.  However, the impact of the reality that I could lose all of them at once dries up all the spit in my mouth.

I had actual cotton mouth when I admitted to The Mamma In-Law the very idea was freaking me out more than a little.

It was then she reminded me about Jesus, Takes the Wheel.  The Mamma In-Law opined, “You say you were praying at the time?  Do you remember how those girls used to sing that song?  I can just imagine them throwing up their arms in the backseat, screaming, “Jesus Take the Wheel!”, and that’s pretty much what happened, right?  Jesus took the wheel and bounced that Chevrolet right off your ass, didn’t He?”

And “What could have happened…” is about as insidious a Spiritual and Mental Health trap as “What I should have done…” is an Hallelujah breaker.

I had to laugh.  That’s precisely what happened.  Jesus pretty much took the wheel and bounced that Chevrolet right off my ass.

Thank you, Jesus!

I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah!

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah!