I’ve always stressed to my girls how important it is to pay attention on the road, whether we’re walking or riding. They’re basically pros at it now so whenever we see a car coming they get off the street and into the closest yard without me having to tell them.
Sunday was no different, they were riding their scooters and I was pretending to race them (they would always win😉) and they’d pull off the street whenever a car was near.
We were about to go around a small curve when an SUV came speeding down the road. The girls moved quicker than I did and thank goodness because the SUV was in the wrong lane, closest to us. It shook me. I was MAD.
In that split second I remembered- “they are watching me… they will remember how I react to this… they will do what I do” – so I bent down and told them how proud I was that they were paying attention. That the person driving that truck was going way too fast and needs to be more careful and that’s why we watch for cars.
That is not AT ALL what I wanted to do tho. I wanted to chase him down the street, birds blazing, and scream all the profanities I knew because he could’ve HURT MY BABIES. 🤬 …but I didn’t. I gave him grace instead.
As we were getting back on the road I noticed the SUV backing up towards us. My blood pressure immediately went up. *keep it together keep it together* He rolled his window down and he was sobbing. He said how sorry he was. That he wasn’t paying attention. That he knew he scared us. That his mind wasn’t in the right place. That he knew kids played here. That he was rushing to his father who was dying. That he had just gotten the call.
My girls saw his pain. And they saw grace.
God took that grace I offered and mirrored it right back to me.
… because I WAS this man. 4 years ago today I was him. I got a call and made Cory drive at a stupid speed to get to my momma. I’m thankful nothing happened to us, to my unborn babies, or to anyone else on the way to her. But I get why he was driving fast. I get why kids scootering down the street was the last thing on his mind. I get it.
I’m so glad that God nudged me in that split second to be the light. This man felt horrible for driving so fast, for scaring us – on top of the agony he was feeling as his heart was shattering. He went to be with his father in his last moments without the wrath that could’ve been. Because I chose to offer grace and forgive. It was that simple.
My hope in telling you this story is that you’ll take a breath instead of lashing out. We’re all under stress. Some are fighting silent battles that you know nothing about. Things that are much bigger and much more gut wrenching than this pandemic. Things you could never even imagine. Offer them grace instead. None of us deserve it, but that’s the beauty of grace, isn’t it?
And like my momma always said, “if ya can’t say something nice don’t say nothin at all” ❤️