Coming home from grabbing an early meal at Chic-fil-a, my wife is on the phone with her mom explaining her new summer schedule for work. I am stopping and going with traffic trying to get back to the interstate to get home in time to get to basketball practice. I check my rear view mirror, and I see a car going full speed coming up on us while we are at a dead stop.
At that moment, I was only concerned for safety. Fortunately, I happened to check my rear view, because I started driving forward and away as quickly as possible, which I think minimized the blow from the accident. By my car already being in motion, the inertia and kinetic energy were not nearly as impactful as it could have been on our car.
This is all that happened. Merely aesthetic damage.
Yet, I cannot stop replaying it in my head. The moment, the adrenaline, the timing. If we had not stopped to get gas after Chic-fil-a, this would not have happened to us. The Butterfly Effect is in full swing in my brain. Ultimately though I am thankful. Thankful that everyone is safe. Thankful that the young man who hit us is safe. Thankful that he had insurance. Thankful that it was me, not someone else who was in that moment. Thankful for the cop who came and took care of the paperwork and chaos.
I am a full believer in divine intervention, while equally being a believer in coincidence. Yesterday I do not think somehow God chose to put Amy and me in that situation. I do not think God was somehow orchestrating the moment and having that young man lose focus at that moment. Yet, I do believe that by the power of his Spirit, I maintained a choice in that coincidental moment.
What I mean is this, I chose to be kind to the young man who hit us. I felt an initial burst of fear, anger, and frustration, but I did not act from those places. I acted from a place of concern and compassion. He was an exceedingly kind person, and he felt horrible for making a mistake. I have been there before. I remember making the same mistake around the same age. I remember being more worried about telling my parents than dealing with the minimal damage to that person’s car.
All of that to say this, I felt the Spirit of God acting yesterday, but not in some overwhelming or tounges speaking kind of way. Rather, I felt the Spirit soften my heart toward kindness and love rather than choosing to act on my initial impulses. I am not sure that there is a more miraculous act of the Spirit than to change my heart toward someone in the moment it is happening.
I wonder how the Spirit might be pressing on my heart to soften today? Usually, I am not wanting to listen, because I have hardened my heart toward things or people in my life for a reason. I cannot bear to feel that pain or sorrow. Thus, I shut myself off from it. I have made conscious choices to shut those areas off, but God wants me to find life. Thus, those areas cannot remain untouched, unenlightened, or unengaged. I must wake up to the beauty of walking through the areas I avoid.
This is why Jesus says, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
I love the Beatitudes. They challenge every part of me.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
I need that challenge to engage at every level of my being. I need to mourn some things. I must walk through it at some point. The longer I suppress, the more challenging it becomes. Maybe I am not the only one.
What do you need to mourn today?
Grace and Peace,