Guy in crosswalk

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In California, pedestrians rule. The pedestrian always has the right of way in a crosswalk. The minute you put your foot in a crosswalk, you are protected by the law. All cars must stop.

I was driving near my home on Pacific Coast Highway when a lone pedestrian stepped into a crosswalk right when it required me to lean heavily on my brakes in order to stop in time. He was a tall, capable young man who was either totally aware of what he was doing, or simply not paying attention. He was definitely old enough to be a driver and had he been thinking like a driver, he wouldn’t have stepped into the street at precisely that moment.

Especially when I was the only car around as far as the eye could see in either direction. And then he did something that tested my good sensibilities to the max. After making me slam on my brakes to stop, he sauntered. That’s right. Sauntered. I sat there watching him slowly make his way across four lanes and never once acknowledging me, and something started to boil inside.

Put yourself in my place and ask yourself: what are your feelings about this guy right about now? If you’re anything like me, they’re not very kind.

Do you have anyone in your life that could be that guy in the crosswalk –someone who appears to be purposely making life difficult for you? What are you going to do about that? Run him over? (It did cross my mind.)

Jesus calls us to love our enemies and return good for the evil done to us. Who can do that? What degree of human will would make that possible? Actually, none. Jesus even said this kind of love was humanly impossible — that it would take someone born of His Father in heaven to do this. Well… there you go.

We’ve all got difficult people to love. Go to God. He’s the only one who can show you how to do this. After all, He is the expert, you know.

Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)

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6 Responses to Guy in crosswalk

  1. Jule Banks says:

    When my fellow drivers annoy me (which is way more often than I should allow), I sometimes remember to think about what they might have on their mind right now. Maybe they just got a call about a loved one who’s very ill or has died. Maybe the call was to let them know the test result came back positive, which of course in medical terms is bad. Maybe they’ve just had a really rough time of it. I’ve been there and am sure other drivers had to extend grace to me. Even if the other driver really is just being rude, it’s much better for my blood pressure to give them that grace…and perhaps even lift up a prayer for them.

  2. Russell says:

    I wonder where my behavior(s) might be similar to the man in the crosswalk.
    And then thought of the fact we judge others by their behavior and ourselves by our intentions. The missing component is the conversation with the man on “why” he did what he did. Perhaps because he just lost an argument and wanted to prove he was in control? Maybe he lost his car and was angry at those that had not. Maybe his favored political candidate did not win the election? Who knows!? But I firmly believe the absence of the “why” continues to be a wedge in our modern society that is causing such division.

  3. TimC says:

    It’s great that Julie and Russell are thinking spiritual thoughts.
    Me? I’m reminded of the video clip online of an elderly lady crossing a street, slowly, and causing a guy in a luxury sports car to wait. A long time. He hits his horn as she is right in front of him. She swings her large, heavy bag into his bumper. Which causes the car’s air bag to deploy in his face.
    Sometimes I don’t have spiritual thoughts.
    Make that “Usually”.

  4. John A Fagliano says:

    My favorite is when I’m in line behind someone who is arguing about the price of something or the validity of a coupon and the manager has to be called in for a price check and there is just one delay after another. Then the cashier says to me “thank you for your patience”. If she only knew the impatient thoughts that were in my head! One way of looking at it is if someone wasted 5 minutes of your day you still had 1,435 more minutes in that day. That’s 99.65% of your day unwasted! But how much more would we waste by harbouring bitterness instead of letting it go?

  5. Sandie says:

    Years ago, I got behind a slow driver on my way to the boat launch where my husband was waiting for me to bring the trailer. I was in a hurry and speeding, of course, in my ’74 high-performance Charger. Just ahead of the slow driver, another driver ran a stop sign and cut off my slow friend. If not for that slow driver, I would have gotten t-boned.
    Another incident years back (with the same Charger), we got behind someone who wasn’t going fast enough for us on a two-lane road with a lot of curves. We never got to a place we could safely pass – thank God. If we had, we would have been the car involved in a head-on collision that killed two priests when their car skidded on ice coming downhill.
    I really believe angels drive cars sometimes…
    In ’04, I had to wait in long lines for gas, water and ice after Hurricanes Jeanne and Frances. Thank God not this time for Irma. I’ve learned to try to push my impatience aside and not to mind waiting, as God could be keeping me delayed to avoid an accident.I also try to pray for that person/situation that is cutting into my so-called precious time!

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