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“You’ll be so happy, Daddy!” the little girl delivered with a brightly beaming smile as she hurried through the door.

“Why’s that, honey?” I inquired, attempting to match her exuberance.

“God fought for me today,” she said confidently and dropped her jacket to the floor.

My interest piqued, I opened my arms to what I thought was an approaching hug. “What did He do?” I asked, as she ran past me.

“On the way home,” she called, slamming the door of the bathroom near the kitchen, “I had to go potty so badly.”

“You did?!” I called back, changing my excitement to a tone of faux concern.

“I didn’t think I’d make it.”

“So,” I said assumingly, “God helped you hold it until you got home?”

“Oh, no,” she said resolutely. I could hear her spinning the toilet paper roll. “I totally would’ve peed in the car, but God didn’t let us get stuck at Satan’s stoplight!”

My daughter was right. The event she described clearly involved the hand of the Divine.

There are two traffic lights in our little town. One of those lights I’ve come to believe is controlled by Lucifer. Even my kids have learned to call the stupid thing by a variety of names—Lucifer’s light, Satan’s stop light, the thorn of the Devil in Daddy’s side.

This particular device designed to foster traffic safety has garnered these titles for a good reason. Over the past four years we’ve called this place home, I’ve rolled up to this singular traffic light at least a thousand times, and I can tell you with all certainty that it’s only been green maybe three or four times. All other times, no matter the traffic volumes or the time of day, I always get the red light. And the fact that the light turned green—most especially when my daughter was about to let loose in the minivan that I just spent an hour cleaning—and the fact that my wife was allowed to roll right through like the people of Israel crossing the Red Sea is nothing short of the Holy One boxing back the Devil. It has to be. I always get stopped at that stupid light. Because it’s possessed by Satan.

Maybe Jen got through because she called out “The power of Christ compels you” on approach. Or maybe the hidden factor in this scenario is that I wasn’t in the car. It wasn’t me in a dreadful hurry. If it would’ve been me needing to pee, the car would be at the detail shop right now. Or at the auto auction in Flint. There’s no way I’d be keeping it.

Or maybe my wife and child are actually in cahoots with Satan so he gave them a pass. I sometimes wonder.


The more likely scenario is that God just favors them more than me. He knows the best way to chastise me, and apparently, the traffic light at the corner of Silver Lake Road and Hyatt Lane is one of His preferred means.

It’s my lot in this mortal sphere.

But I do have other, more enjoyable lots in this life, too. I mean that literally. At this very moment, one of them is the Lot 40 Cask Strength edition.

A sample I received from my friend George, this 12 year old Canadian Rye is proof that even as the Lord chooses to chastise me, He often deigns to shine the bright beams of His love upon me, too.

With a nose of walnuts, cinnamon, and salt, this whiskey is reminiscent of the sweeter scents wafting in the little bakery downtown at Christmas time.

A sip reveals the bite you might expect from a cask strength edition, although it is in no way unpleasant. The elixir maintains its nuttiness—namely walnuts sautéed in a butter-soaked mixture of cloves and cinders.

The finish is the only downside to the dram. I figured I’d get a minute or two out of this dram, but alas, its butter-cream goodbye was less than half a minute.

Oh well. I suppose not everything can last as long as the two or three minutes I sit alone at Satan’s stoplight at the corner of Silver Lake Road and Hyatt Lane in Linden, Michigan.