So, the other day, I was rolling down the road, minding my own business, when the light turned red...so I stopped. And then I felt a "bump" from the rear of my vehicle. I thought, "ohhhhh nooooo."
I had just been thinking that it has been about a year since my Honda Pilot was slammed from behind on I-40. Scariest experience I've had in a WHILE, because Joshua was with me...and because my vehicle was significantly damaged in that accident. And, I had been thinking how I have pretty much gotten over the anxiety from that day. Almost. It has taken a WHILE.
Anyway, I pulled off the road, and the car behind me did the same. I got out of my car, and went to check out the damage. The driver of the car behind me got out, too...and headed my way. He was a BIG guy, and looked to be about the age of my middle son, Logan. And I'll just confess it right here...I made a judgment on him based on his age, and on the look of his car. I thought, "hereeeeee we go." Because, in this day and time, it doesn't matter if we are red, brown, yellow, black or white. Yes, we are "precious in His sight," but nothing is ever OUR FAULT.
Am I right?
Well, the guy came over, and first thing said, "I'm so sorry." I used my firmest voice and asked, "what happened here, son?" He said, "I don't know. I'm so sorry, ma'am. I'm just going through a lot right now."
I thought, "yeah, me, too...how much time ya got?"
I could see inside his car. It was crammed FULL of clothes...hampers of clothes, clothes on hangers, clothes stacked on the seat. The guy was wearing an Arkansas Tech t-shirt, but he had a University of Central Arkansas tag on his dashboard. I said, "are you moving?"
Big tears welled up in his eyes, and he said, "me and my fiance just broke up." I said, "I'm so sorry...are you okay?" He said, "well, I'm alive. That's about all I can say."
I stood there and looked at him for a minute, and I shot up one of those "arrow prayers" Ken Shaddox, our former pastor, preached about many years ago. He said that if we started each day with prayer, and maintained a spirit of conversation and prayer with God all day...there would be times when, because we had established that relationship with God already...and because we had been talking with Him already...we could shoot up those quick prayers.
So I prayed, "God, tell me what to say."
Our lesson in small group last week was on obedience...and how Philip did what God's Spirit told him to do (Acts 8) (see, I DO listen in class, JIM).
I took a big breath, and said, "well, we can't always see all the ways God is working for our good. Do you believe that?" He said, "yes, ma'am...I trust Him." And then, I briefly shared my story of God's faithfulness in times when things have happened that I still don't understand.
I believe that God either ordains everything that happens to us, or He allows it. The Bible says that God comforts us in our trials, so that we are able to comfort others in theirs (2 Corinthians 1:4).
Part of what I told this guy, was that we can't control other people...what they say or do, the choices they make. And that our friends, even our families, may turn away from us and leave us...but God will NEVER leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).
At this point, he had tears streaming down his face, and he was just trying to hold it together. And so was I. And, I don't know, my mommy's heart just ached for him. I walked over and gave him a big hug...this guy who just hit my car.
As we stood there, I was very aware that everyone driving by was starting at us. It was a busy road, and there was a lot of traffic. I'm sure we were quite the sight: me, a short, brown-haired, Lee Ann Touhy lookin' lady...and a him, a big, ol' Michael Oher (like a paddle in a boat) lookin' guy, hugging...and crying, on the side of the road.
We talked for a little bit longer. When we were done, he told me how much he needed to hear the words I had shared...and that he felt better.
Let me be very clear: this was ALL GOD, and not me. I wouldn't typically have a long conversation with a man I don't know. And I for SURE wouldn't hug him! I'm very aware of "stranger danger." I am always mentally assessing the potential danger in every situation (I raised 3 boys...I always know where the exits are, where the sharp/glass objects are in any room, if I'm going to be able to run in the shoes I'm wearing, or if I need to formulate a different plan. I may not look like it on the outside, but on the inside, I am part Jason Bourne. I had to be. Because: BOYS).
I am thankful that, today, I was obedient, because many times...I am not.
Jim is always telling our small group that we just need to tell our stories...how we were (in sin), how we saw our need for Jesus...and how our lives are different because of Him. We make it a lot harder than it has to be. Most people aren't trying to trip you up, and they won't care that you got confused or went out-of-order when you presented the "Roman Road to Salvation." They just want someone to listen, and someone to care. And, if we tell what God has done for US? Well, they can't really argue with that, because it's OUR STORY.
This guy was a Christian, but Christians are not immune to the trials of life. And, in those times, don't we all just want to hear some words of encouragement?
Anyway, I hope my husband doesn't find any damage on my vehicle. I looked...I didn't see anything, so I let the guy go. Because: JESUS AND GOD.
But, don't worry...I got his name. It was Cody. Or Carl. I don't know...it was some name that started with a "C."