A Gift in Reverse

For May 21 Blog

A four-way stop with many a car from the North, South, East, and West busy scurrying.   Vehicles slowly edging to their turn, watching for who arrived first before they could continue their hurrying.   Right then left then straight ahead and from ahead towards where I waited my turn to go.  Two ahead and several behind me, all of us completing our west-bound row.

It was in the blink of an eye – as happens when we receive the gifts of grace.  A distressed driver got out of her car to share her vehicle would no longer be moving on its way.  The driver in front of me reacted in the only way he could see.   His line of sight was to go around her and continue driving.   With his plan his focus, he continued implementing the steps that would remove him from this stopped line.  That meant putting his vehicle into reverse, ensuring his would meet mine.

Life, so much more powerful than the reigns we think we control.  Now his action plan needed to be put on hold.   His step three to pull into a parking lot was not in his outline.   Nor was his step four in what reaction of mine he might find.    As I focused on assessing the damage and calling for my husband’s wisdom on what would now be my next steps, another kind soul was deciding not to rush through the intersection.

No one injured, neither vehicle in unmanageable disarray; both the other driver and I able to each go on our way.  As I turn to get back in my vehicle, I behold the purpose of this moment in time.   Compassion and a selfless heart about to walk by.   A kind gentleman not of tall stature and legs that are challenged to freely move.  Of all the vehicles that had turned left, right, and straight, this gracious heart is the one that didn’t drive through.

A warm smile and joyful eyes reflecting a heart that had just helped someone in need.  Not for recognition, but simply because this gentleman desired to get this distressed driver and her car to safety.    This moment was not for me to feel pity for what may be afflicting his gait.  This moment was not for me to feel disappointment that others’ priorities was to drive-around it all at a frenzied pace.  This moment was not for me to feel regret that I didn’t notice sooner so that I could try to assist.  The moment was for me to see exactly this.

A kind and generous heart that looks around for others who need a helping hand.   A selfless soul who is wiling to slow down and notice the left and right sides of his path.   A gentleman who doesn’t look inward and see limitations of why he should “just” continue to go; instead listening to his heart that urges stop, move this car out of traffic’s flow.    Humanity at its best, humanity demonstrated beautifully.   I ponder what other drivers thought if they paused long enough to see.   Did they think about this heart-felt act or did they think, thank goodness that didn’t have to be me?

My lens now wider in looking straight ahead, left and right.   Sure, for increased awareness should someone decide to put their vehicle into reverse drive.   But even more than that is for someone who may be in need.   My hope is that I will act as this kind soul I had the honor of witnessing.    I know there are also other learnings from this moment that took place.   Such as appreciation for one’s health, being braver and stronger than adversity, and the choices we make.   I could have chosen to see this moment as a “bad day” or I could choose to see this moment’s grace.

How about you if you find that a moment changes in a blink of an eye?  If it is not necessarily one of “good” surprise, what does your reaction find?     Are you able to see a sudden moment as purposeful for what may come to be?  Or do you become like the drivers on a mission to other priorities?  Not necessarily in traffic is it safe to do, but what if we paused more frequently?  If when among people we don’t know, if we widened our view, what might we see?  Would we see who we fear and who we feel compelled to turn away from and walk the other way?  Or would we see a distressed soul who needs a reminder all will be okay?

We cannot have the flows in life without the ebbs and bumps that we don’t foresee.   What an extraordinary moment this literal bump was in the gift it gave me.   Goodness flourishes in this world filled with fear and anxiety.   Hope and peace are alive, If we choose to see.

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