Fender Bender

It was Friday afternoon.

The sun which had hidden all day behind a blanket of clouds was shining in my eyes as I drove west to pick up hubby from work. The traffic was unusually heavy because apparently it was the beginning of the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend.

Yep! Still a newbie! I really need to find a calendar with Canadian holidays.

It was difficult to see the stoplights changing color even with my sunglasses on. Squinting with my hand cupped over my eyes I see it’s red. I ease into the left turning lane and wait for the signal to change.

I drive forward, realizing at the last possible minute that it’s not a green arrow just a green light. I brake hard, heart pounding. That was a close call. If I hadn’t stopped…And it would’ve been all my fault. I stop, not wanting my mind to go there.

We’ve all felt it. Guilt. You know you’ve done something terribly wrong. You’ve wrecked everything. It’s your fault. And there’s nothing you can possibly do to make it right. Shame.

Ok, God. I get it. It’s funny maybe not, how God uses ordinary, every day occurrences like driving across town to get our attention. But I usually miss the point until it literally smacks into me. I am oblivious. Self-absorbed.

Grace...Something I don’t deserve. I drive away unharmed while somewhere others do not. Anyone want to venture a guess what Sunday’s sermon was about? Yeah, that’s right.

Grace allows me a thousand tiny moments.

Like girls giggling….

Making silly jack-o-lantern faces on a pumpkin plate, then sneaking a bite…

…a snack picked from a tree

…these are special gifts of grace.

But why am I given grace when others are not? 

Driving home, hubby is seated beside me. I tell him about my close call then listen as the girls eagerly share moments little gifts from our day. I pull up to another stoplight, waiting in line. That’s when it happens. The car behind runs into our bumper.

My first thoughts, I must admit, not very gracious…You’re kidding me! We’ve only lived here for 3 weeks! I just avoided an accident! Relief. That it wasn’t my fault.

But everyone is okay. There’s minimal damage. Instead of cracking, our plastic bumper bounced back into shape with only a few scratches.

There it is again, staring me in the face. Grace.

As we exchange insurance info. I recognize it in her young, tear-stained face. The guilt. The shame. The reason I’ve been given grace. A grace given so I can give. Grace multiplying grace. Hope. Freedom.

Ok, God, now I get it. Although I am beginning to wonder how many times it will take before it finally sinks in. Because I’m apparently pretty dense.

Later at home, the girls play in the back yard with the neighbor’s dog while she paints panels for a new fence. They squeal with delight as the puppy chases leaves and sticks. Little Z skips across the lawn. Singing as she goes, “Oh happy day, happy day, happy day….”

My neighbor smiles as she turns to me. How cute that she’s so happy. I smile. Not because she’s happy & cute, although in my completely unbiased opinion she is.

I recognize her song. And mentally sing along…“You washed my sins away. Oh happy day, happy day! I’ll never be the same…”

A moment for me to share His grace.

Keep singing it Z!

Lesson #1: Unless you actually mean it, do NOT ask God to help you live out the sermon during the week.

Lesson #2: Get a new calendar with Canadian holidays.

Lesson #3: Grace isn’t about ME. For ME. Well it is, but not just me.  It’s for everyone. And it’s free (we’re all on a budget and looking for a bargain, right?). So pass it on!

Beautiful. Amazing. Grace.


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