On Friday, I was involved in a fender bender in the parking lot of a local grocery store. I guess it would be more accurate to say it was a fender-scuffer more than a fender bender. An older woman backing out of a parking place wasn’t watching in her rearview mirror and pulled out slowly into my front right bumper. I was at a complete stop and saw her coming, but could not back out of the way, so I honked, but it was too late. It really gets your adrenaline going the first few moments. She was very calm as was I (breathe-breathe!) After looking at the minor scuffing, we both decided it wasn’t even worth exchanging insurance information. I waved as she drove away.
To my knowledge, I have never met this woman before and likely never will again. We both behaved well, but I couldn’t help but wonder later, “Did this ruin her day?” “Likely, she is on a fixed income; did the thought of car repairs frighten her?” “Was I gentle enough with her?” She reminded me of my own mother, so I think I took extra care to be kind. These questions bothered me enough that I prayed for her Friday night.
So, who’d you run into today? I’ve been wondering since the accident how often we only cross paths with others once in this world – we only get one chance. Was I a blessing to her or an added burden in an already burdened life? I’m not sure, but I think this week I’m going to be especially aware of people I’ve never met who cross my path – the grocery store clerk; the construction worker paving the road; people on the street. It may be the only time I get to meet them this side of heaven.