Wednesday, January 11, 2017
"BAM" is what I loudly heard as my car jolted forward! Sitting at the light waiting on it to turn to green, it was the last thing I expected to happen, never saw it coming. Yet it did...and loudly! The first thing I did was look in my rear view mirror and sure enough, it was not a dream, there was a car right on the back of me. I had about 60 seconds to get myself together, put the car in park, and though my heart was beating about 1,000 beats a minute...I said to myself "ok".
To be honest with you, I didn't think to pray a long prayer, because in times like these, you really only have the time and ability to say one word "Jesus"...and for me it was enough. A calmness came over me, even though I was shaking and my legs felt like rubber as I got out of the car to view the damage.
The gentleman also exited his car and by the look on his face, he was very upset, scared or angry I could not tell. His defenses were up, because he expected me to be a raging, cursing lunatic...he appeared to brace himself as we both viewed my car. We both looked in silence (seemed to me like in slow motion) because I was expecting to see my car's rear end totally destroyed...but...there... was... NO DAMAGE ! NONE! As we surveyed it closer,, both of us examining it very closely with our hands, there was no damage to either of our cars! not a scratch or a crack or chip!
All this time we had not said a word to each other...me keeping myself calm and him waiting for what he thought would be the inevitable; a shouting, angry woman. As we both looked up at each other at the same time, I looked into his confused eyes and said "PRAISE GOD" ! Did I see him take a step back and slightly shake his head? We both were so surprised, me because of the loudness and big jolt from impact and him, because he knew how fast he was going when he hit me! But, there was NO DAMAGE and we checked thoroughly.
As I looked at this relieved man, I smiled and I don't know why, but I extended my hand to him for a handshake (not sure why I did that, God knows). He had about 12 inches in height over me and the size of him could have been intimidating I believe if the situation was the other way around...but I wanted to let him know that I forgave him. In his surprise, he reluctantly took my hand and shook. THEN, now bear with me... my "Hug" instinct clicked in and I extended my arms to him for a hug...all this in the middle of traffic! Did you know that I am the Hug Ambassador of the Northeastern region? LOL Just kidding, but I do hug a lot, so watch out!
Don't ask me why I do the things I do...I just do it! All I can say is, the warmness of God's love came over me, and the gratitude that neither one of us had been injured nor damage to our cars and...I don't know, I just wanted to hug him! Now I don't recommend this for everyone, but for me at the time, I knew I just had to do it. Oh! and this man who could have been a member of the World Wrestling League reached down and hugged me back, even though he did look a little embarrassed.
Then he dropped his head and said, "In my rush to get to the hospital ... I was speeding and did not look where I was going...I'm so sorry." I assumed he was on his way to see someone and God only knows what personal situation he was dealing with...and that's just it... GOD KNEW!
After settling that all was well and him probably summarizing that I was a crazy woman that loved to hug strangers...we got in our cars, much to the relief of the line of cars that had formed behind us, and went our own ways. But you know what? I prayed for that man all the way to my destination. I don't know why our paths were allowed to be connected, but I just knew that I must pray for him, that whatever he is going through, that he would allow God to take charge of his life.
The incident helped me to learn about how important our reactions are to situations. We live in a world where we are constantly encouraged to react with anger and violence to what we feel is injustice. Social media is loaded with posts, memes and videos of what we think are our right to use harsh and unkind words to "defend" ourselves. Even people who claim to love Jesus, yet using social media to vilify what they feel is social injustice...that is wrong....wrong, wrong, wrong.
If my car was damaged would I have reacted a different way? I hope not. What matters is that for that time and that situation, I pray that I reacted the way God would want me to react. I'm not perfect, I take this journey one day at a time, and I admit, sometimes I miss the mark, but I have learned to get myself back up, wipe off the dirt and pick up my cross daily...and that is all that He asks of us:
Our reaction...how important is it? To being mistreated, misunderstood, hurt, lied about, accused unjustly, cheated on, etc. How important is it to others and ourselves how we react? In the words of Corrie Ten Boom, a Dutch Christian, who suffered and lost her whole family in the concentration camps during the Holocaust for helping to save the lives of many Jews in their home, she said :