An old friend of mine (the kind you’ve known all your life but really only talk to on FaceBook) was just in a bad car accidenct. She’s fine, if a little sore; the car was crunched and will probably be totaled.

She’s saying “only God could have saved me,” and that maybe a close friend who just died was watching over her. (Side note: it’s astonishing how many Jews and Christians engage in ancester worship, believing that dead family and friends watch over them – I’ve even seen things (though not from this person) like “Mommy and Daddy, please help the Eagles win today”) But that’s totally not what I see. It’s common to have a car totaled in a crash that the driver nad passengers ‘miraculously’ walk away from – and also to see cars totaled from what seem to be relatively minor accidents. That’s because they are designed to crumple and absorb the impact, to keep it away from human riders. A new sedan can’t take the punishment that a ’57 Chevy could – but those inside it are a lot better protected.

Gratitude is a good thing, but I don’t think people realize how often they ought to be grateful to the engineers who design the things that keep them safe.

(Of course, if you want to thank God for steering those talented people went into that field and had the opportunity to make a difference, go for it – that’s when you’re in the realm of opinion rather than fact, and yours is as valid as anyone’s. I’d rather be thankful for free will and a society that allows us to use our talents, but that’s only my opinion – and there could still be a role for a deity in there.)