About six months ago, my wife and I were driving with our newborn son in the backseat of our car. We stopped at a stop light and were in conversation when all of the sudden, BOOM! We were hit by a van behind us. Of course we were shocked, and the first thing we both thought about was our son!
He immediately started crying and we both jumped out of the car so we could check on him. We didn’t even take time to notice the catering van behind us and the young women who was driving it. We were so focused on our son. The whole incident was quite dramatic with a fire truck and ambulance arriving to check everyone out.
Not only was the accident her fault, but she hit a car with a newborn baby.
When I did get time to talk to the women who hit us, it was very apparent that she felt awful. Not only was the accident her fault, but she hit a car with a newborn baby. It was all over her face that she felt terrible. Once we knew our son was okay, we were able to still drive our car home, even though it did have some damage.
The next morning I took my usual walk with my son. I have really come to enjoy these walks because it gives me time to pray and talk to God. I have found it 10 times easier for myself to go on a walk and talk to God, than attempting to kneel in a room in silence. Maybe it’s my personality, but it really helps me to walk and talk to God, just like I would with a friend.
That said, on this particular morning I began processing the car accident with God. While I talked about the incident and thanked the Lord for keeping us safe, I began to think about how terrible the woman who hit us felt. I wasn’t sure if she knew God or not, but the thought immediately crossed my mind: “Buy her flowers.”
Of course my first reaction was, “But it was her fault!” But then Jesus words came to my mind from the Bible, “Blessed are the merciful.” I remembered a teaching I had just heard on mercy and how it actually means that we should look through mistakes people have committed and try to understand why they did what they did.
Mercy is actually the opposite of judgment. It’s trying to relate to someone’s situation and understand instead of accuse.
Mercy is actually the opposite of judgment. It’s trying to relate to someone’s situation and understand instead of accuse. Obviously in the case of this accident this women just didn’t see our car.
Anyone could have done that, including myself.
When I finally got home from our walk, I told my wife the thought that came to my mind. Sometimes I question thoughts like these because I expect God to communicate to me in a different way. I have this assumption it should be like in the movies when it depicts God speaking with a loud voice coming down from the sky or an angel by someone’s bed. I couldn’t say either of these things happened, but I could say there was a conviction in my heart that would not allow me to let these thoughts that came to me go away.
Rather than questioning back and forth whether this was God or not, we decided I should just step out and order flowers for this women. So I went onto my computer, pulled out the woman’s address from the police report, and ordered flowers to arrive that morning. I added a note to the flowers that simply said, “We just wanted to let you know our baby is okay and we wanted to make sure your day today starts off better than yesterday.”
There were so many things going through my mind of why I shouldn’t do this, but I just strongly felt I should….
Later that day I was driving to go see a friend. My phone rang and it was a call from a number I didn’t recognize. I answered, and it was actually the women who hit us!
She said, “Is this Daniel?” I told her it was. She went onto exclaim almost in tears,” Thank you so much for the flowers, I don’t even know what to say. Phenomenal. Just phenomenal. I cannot believe you would do that. Wow, I don’t even know what to say. Phenomenal. I would love to buy you guys lunch if you are ever over this way. I mean, not that we have to be friends, but wow.”
I hung up the phone in shock myself, as I was so taken back by how much someone could be impacted by one simple obedience to what Jesus taught. Even though this woman didn’t know we followed Jesus yet, she experienced the beauty of Jesus and his ways. It was so beautiful and so attractive, that she was speechless and taken back. You could tell she was so curious and wanted to know why we were like that, even inviting us to lunch.
It made me realize how beautiful the ways of Jesus are and that they speak for themselves when we are obedient to them.
It made me realize how beautiful the ways of Jesus are and that they speak for themselves when we are obedient to them. I hope this encourages anyone reading to trust those small quiet thoughts that come in prayer, even if you think it might ‘just be you.’ We don’t need to sell Jesus to people; he is attractive on his own. If we simply obey his ways and allow others to see, people will see that he really is the way, the truth, and the life.
If we step out and live like he showed us to live, we will see people’s lives changed like we never thought possible.
Right after Jesus taught these words, “Blessed are the merciful”, he goes on to say shortly after, “You are the light of the world….let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” May you enjoy the beauty and shock that comes when we simply say ‘yes’ to Jesus ways!
Photo graciously provided by Bostan Korkulugu