Every semester has its own dangers. This semester’s danger is in the form of a collision: bodies smashed against each other, heads thrown in all directions, blood everywhere. It happened all too fast, and before I knew it I was standing along the road together with the other passengers, shocked as we were at the tragedy in front of us.
I could not erase in my mind the image of that afternoon — a young girl drenched in her own blood, almost with no life at all, caught between the webbed strands of both life and death. I walked away from the scene and headed home as quickly as possible, aching and limping as I tread the busy streets to get to safety. In my head I was bursting with prayers, thankful that I can still catch my own breath while that poor little girl fights for her own.
Earlier in the university, I shared conversations with few of my colleagues. At one point, one of them asked rather mournfully, “What is the point of everything?” to which I replied, “Maybe there is no point.” Part of my response was the steady belief in the uncertainty of things, if not in the absence of it all. Maybe there is no higher purpose or direction in our lives. Maybe there is nothing in the world that makes sense. Maybe we’re just ashes blown by the wind, left to scatter helplessly in thin air. We were back to Existentialism 101 all over again and I was the bitter nihilist in the midst of them all.
And then came the accident. A split-second collision of atomic particles bursting aimlessly into space and time and memory. What happened earlier this afternoon shamed me in more ways than one. It was as if some invisible entity was there to direct my thoughts and to command my actions to lead me to safety. If I had sat in the front seat my head would have been smashed by now. But here I am typing these words and praying, praying, praying.
Dear God, what illusions we humans have of our own providence.