If you’ve seen the movie Fishers of Men, there is a dramatic scene of a car accident which the priest happens upon.
I couldn’t believe it, but it happened to me last night as I was returning to the monastery!
I came around a corner and traffic was just at a standstill. Oh great, I’m going to miss my Jenga game with Mother Frangelico, I thought! (She is steady handed, mean Jenga player!)
As I got near to the next intersection, I saw a car stopped and an older man laying in front of the car with literally a pool of blood spreading around him. ‘Hmmm, I don’t think Mother will be too upset with me for this,’ but my second thought was ‘This is just like the movie!’
After this internal debate, I decided to park and jump out to see if I could anoint him. As I approached him, there was a lady praying at his feet, “Lord, please send someone; Lord, please send someone!” As I knelt beside her, she grabbed my arm, looked up and yelled: “Oh, good Lord, You sent one of Your own!”
‘Hmm, not quite the script of the movie, what’s my next line?’ I thought. “Sir, are you Catholic, I’m a Roman Catholic Priest and would you like to be anointed?” (Meanwhile, I’m scanning the gathering crowd for the kid whose hair I’m supposed to tussle after I anoint him.)
Imagine my surprise when he sat up and yelled back: “NO! GET AWAY FROM ME!”
‘Hey, wait, this wasn’t in the Script!’ I don’t even see the kid anywhere!
I stayed and prayed for a while with him regardless, and the ambulance showed up. It seemed like he was going to be ok, so I hurried back to my car thinking I still had time for my Jenga game with Mother.
Argh! Someone’s standing at my car! “Can I help you?” She was crying pretty hard, and I didn’t know what was going on. Maybe she was just shook up by the accident?
Imagine my surprise when she called me by my first name! She was involved with the accident, and recognized me and we ended up talking and praying for a bit, and managed to get her calmed down and relaxed.
As I drove away, I lamented that my own turn for movie stardom was shot down, but I was glad I stopped anyway.
And the moral of the story: God doesn’t usually follow a movie script for discernment!