Thursday, June 26, 2008

A lesson in graciousness

Today I ran into my neighbor's car.

Let me paint the picture for you: screaming baby in the back, groceries in the rear, and two interviews to get to ASAP. As I tried to park in front of my house, like I always do, I cut the corner too close and ... screech.

My heart rate climbed to an obscene level, and I got out to survey the damage (did I mention my neighbor drives a BMW? Yeah, not really a car you want to mess with). I wasn't sure if I had just scratched the bumper, or if I had been responsible for the other damage on the fender.

Dear Lord.

With my heart in my hands, and my baby in my arms, I went to his house to repent--and I expected anything but what I received. "Don't worry about it," he said. After taking a look at the car, he insisted that the fender damage was already there, and that the scratch on the bumper was no big deal.

I wanted to cry--not because I was happy that I wouldn't have to fork over hundreds for repair bills (I would have done so in a heartbeat), but because of how kind he was to me. Before he even saw the damage, he'd brushed it off and forgiven me. I chatted with he and his wife for a while on the sidewalk, and I kept thinking, there is a lesson here, Sarah--a lesson in forgiveness, and graciousness.

How many times have I made someone feel bad for something silly? How many times have I refused to forgive and held a grudge?

You never expect that hitting a BMW will be a wake-up call, but today, it was mine. Any life lessons in your fender benders?

5 comments:

katie said...

I accidentally ran a stop sign when I was 16 and t-boned a car with a mom and her baby inside. Thankfully the baby was okay and the mom only had a cut on her arm from broken window glass. The mom was so upset with me. I was 16 and more concerned about losing my car at the time. She was a single mom, trying to make ends meet and take care of her daughter. A few months later, I gained perspective on the situation when I saw her driving a brand new car, most likely bought for her by my insurance company. Lesson learned.

teryll said...

Forgiveness has always been an issue for me. My boyfriend is so quick to forgive and I am so quick to hold on, but being with him has really opened up my eyes to what the purpose and power of forgiveness really is, and for that I am really grateful. Not to say, that I don't struggle with it still, but I think I have more perspective and choose my battles more wisely.

Thank God for life lessons no matter how big or small.

Hillary said...

I'm sorry you had such a bad morning...it sounds like you live amongst some very nice people! How incredibly nice, and it's nice to read what great lesson you took out of this experience.

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