mercy

This was certainly not in my plan for yesterday. But, it happened. And good has come from it.

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It was one of those surreal moments where you sit for a split second and think, Did this just happen? Did I really just smack into a truck? Yes, I smacked into a TRUCK. What damage has been done to the car??? Dave is going to kill me! I am so stupid. I cannot believe I did this!

But I did.

Long story short, it was totally my fault. I cut a corner, was distracted and ran into the side of a lawn care truck.

And I absolutely could not believe I had done this and burst into tears immediately.

I was literally two minutes from my parents’ house, going to drop Sweet Pea off so I could go to Little Bug’s “Snow Day” at preschool.

Through my tears I called my mom to come get Sweet Pea and then I called Dave and blurted out, “I am SO sorry!!!”. He was obviously very confused but could tell I was very upset.

The driver of the truck had come over to check on me and asked if we were okay. I told him we were fine but I was just really mad at myself!! He told me everything would be okay and then I crawled back in my car.

Sitting there, waiting for the police to arrive, and beating myself up over my own stupidity, I prayed, Okay, Lord, what do you want to teach me today? I am listening. I was suppose to be on my way to a fun day at preschool with Little Bug, but there I was – stuck and waiting for the police to arrive.

Mercy immediately came to mind and I knew God wanted to teach me about His Mercy.

I have mentioned briefly that I am a part of a year long Chronological Bible Study. I’ve actually got a post in my drafts nearly ready to be published about this Bible study. Each week we dive into the Word of God and discover themes throughout the Bible and truths about God. One of the themes that can be found throughout most every story of the Bible is a theme of mercy.

Our God is so merciful, beginning with Adam and Eve and continuing on through the generations to us, today.

I struggle with having mercy, especially towards myself. I am a very “black and white” person, which doesn’t leave much room for mercy.

In those moments sitting in my car I knew God wanted to teach me about having mercy towards myself. I am so hard on myself. My standard, for myself, is perfection. I hate to make mistakes. I live my life trying to prevent mistakes so that I can do things right the first time. But, I am human. And sometimes humans make careless, dumb mistakes like cutting a corner and slamming into a truck.

But through that whole experience yesterday, I was extended mercy over and over and over again.

First of all, no one was injured by my carelessness. Sweet Pea, Pup and I were in the car and no one was hurt, at all. God was merciful in that the accident wasn’t any worse than the damage that occurred to the car.

The driver of the truck was so kind to me. He could have been so upset at my stupidity. But he showed no outward appearance of being frustrated or upset about anything. Even though he had to call his company to get the mechanic to come look at his truck and he also had to go have a drug test because it is his company’s policy anytime an employee is involved in a car accident. I felt so bad I had ruined his day but he acted like this was just a normal day on the job for him.

When his company’s mechanic showed up on the scene to make an accident report for the company, he first came over to me and asked if I was okay. He got the same response the driver got: I am fine but I cannot believe I did this! Just like the truck driver, he was so kind, offering mercy instead of judgment.

And then my sweet husband. Why I ever thought for a minute he would be mad, I don’t know. Actually, I do know why. Because had the roles been reversed, I am ashamed to say that I know I would have slipped in an I can’t believe you did this! Why were you not paying closer attention?!? But, not my Dave. He told me it was okay from the moment he learned about what I had done.

We have insurance! It’s what it’s there for! The car can be fixed!

And my practical and very black and white self replied with, But it is money we did not NEED to spend! Such a WASTE from me being so DUMB!

And he simply responded back with another line of mercy, never once blaming me or making me feel like a moron.

Except he did say, “Now you are going to get a ticket. I just want to prepare you for that.”

That sent me into another torrent of tears because in all my 15 years of driving, I have NEVER gotten even a parking ticket and I’d like to keep it that way.

I was sure that there was one person I was NOT going to receive mercy from that day: the police officer.

He arrived and I was still hibernating in my car, crying.

He got out of his cop car and walked over to my car and asked for my version of what happened.

I told him, fully taking blame and then he went to talk to the truck driver.

He came back to me and asked for my driver’s license and insurance info and then headed to his cop car to destroy my pristine driving record.

I decided I better go ahead and get out of my car so I crawled through to the passenger side (my door wouldn’t open) and stood, waiting for my fate.

My mom came back around that time and it wasn’t too much longer and the cop came to talk to the truck driver and me. First, he handed us each a booklet that had the accident report number on it. I was just thinking, Just get the ticket over with, would you?!

My mom was anxiously awaiting my fate as well and finally asked, “So, what is the next step after this….?” to which the cop gave her a questioning look and my mom just ended up blurting out, “Are you going to give her a ticket??”.

He said, “Nah.” and I think we both screamed in his face, “THANK YOU!! Thank you VERY much!!”.

Mercy. From a cop. I realize that doesn’t usually happen. I felt the world had been lifted off my shoulders.

And as if that wasn’t enough mercy in the span of about an hour…

I had intended to go to Little Bug’s “Snow Day” at preschool and was really bummed that I had missed out on seeing her play in the “snow” (i.e.. “snow” generated and blown from a truck and not actual snow falling from the sky), but it was what it was and my dumb mistake had cost me the deductible to get the car fixed and a fun outing with my big girl.

My mom drove me to Little Bug’s preschool for pick up and as we pulled in the parking lot there was the big mound of “snow” where Little Bug had played. The director, who is a very good friend of my mom’s, was out there cleaning up from the day and my mom decided to drive over there and see if she would allow Little Bug and me to play on the “snow” for just a couple minutes. She was more than willing and we had a blast slipping and sliding on the “snow” that was turning more into an ice skating rink because the temperatures were in the upper 70’s!

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I think I will forever look at this picture and remember the events of that day and the mercy I was shown—all the way from not receiving a ticket to getting to play with Little Bug in the “snow” even after my stupidity cost me not being able to be there with her.

As the day went on I continued to think about mercy and especially the mercy that is extended to me from my Heavenly Father.

Oh, He is so merciful. There is story after story of Him extending mercy and forgiveness to His people – and it begins in the Garden of Eden, right after Adam and Eve ate from the tree of knowledge.

They immediately became aware of themselves, feeling shame, and sought to find covering for themselves from fig leaves. (Genesis 3:7)

But then later, in verse 21 we read that, “The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.”

Another theme we learned early on in this Bible study is that God requires blood shed to atone for sin. So what does He do for Adam and Eve? He gets one of his beloved creations (an animal) and sacrifices it’s life so that Adam and Eve can have proper coverings. It’s the first sacrifice made to cover man’s sins. And it is foreshadowing of the ultimate sacrifice that was to come – the shedding of Jesus’ blood on the cross to pay for mankind’s past, present and future sins.

Mercy. God is so merciful towards us.

God is certainly a God of justice, too, but His mercies truly are new every morning.

This incident has opened my eyes to the fact that I need to be ready to extend mercy, too. Yes, there is a time and place for justice, but there is also a time and place for mercy.

I am forever thankful I was extended mercy over and over again yesterday.

 

And PS: Yesterday was actually my second day in a row with a run-in with a cop. I will share Wednesday’s adventure tomorrow. Today, I am praying for a nice, calm, boring, police-free day.

4 thoughts on “mercy

  1. For the record … (I have tons of mercy 🙂 ) so I kept reminding Elaine that as she turned the sun was blinging her, eventhough she was wearing sun glasses. The distraction was a woman with a baby in a stroller and she was wondering if it was my neighbor’s daughter who also adopted 2 children. She likes to talk to her when she is in town. The distraction was NOT a cell phone as most would think or a child needing something. Just a reminder to all of us NOT to use cell phones in the car.

  2. THANK YOU for this Elaine. It was God’s perfect timing that you had this post today and I read it when I did. I needed this message right now, on more than one level. So thank you.

  3. Please please remember that you need to replace both car seats in your car, even if they weren’t both occupied. Except for Britax, every other brand car seat requires that a car seat be replaced after even a minor accident!

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