It was dark. Rain was falling. Her car was parked on a narrow side street. She was going around to the driver's side to unlock her door when I saw a pair of low-slung headlights approaching at a good clip.

"Get out of the street," I barked. "He's not slowing down."

"I see him," she replied without making any move to obey. My voice had betrayed my apprehension. Her tone bordered on annoyance, as if she were saying, "Do you think I'm blind?"

Completely calm and unperturbed, she proceeded to unlock the car door. Fortunately, she didn't fling it open. In fact, as the little sports car growled past without slackening pace, she had to flatten against the side of her own car to keep from being hit. If there had been one more coat of paint on either vehicle, the outcome could have been serious instead of just scary.

Later as I circled behind her car to take my seat on the passenger side, several formats for an appropriate sermon ran through my mind. But as we got under way, I decided to reject all of them.

A lecture on traffic safety would have been wholly inappropriate at a time when her full time and attention were needed to get us home safely. Besides, there is little to be accomplished in lecturing a wife who has reached adulthood without learning that there is one hell of a difference between her seeing an oncoming car and the driver seeing her. So I kept quiet.

Somebody Up There has been keeping an eye on this heedless woman, and as long as that condition remains unchanged, she doesn't need my lectures. But when something of this kind happens, I wonder: In all that rain and darkness, was she invisible to the driver of the passing car? Or is he the kind of jerk who plays games to see how close he can miss people?

Injury and fatality statistics indicate that a lot of automobiles hit a lot of people each week, and that in almost every case the person suffers more damage than the automobile. One can only hope that those who "play chicken" with automobiles are few in number and that they will self-destruct before they injure others.