Good morning friends,
Last week I issued a challenge to everyone in the church to do something to improve the lives of children beyond our own families. I asked that everyone do something within the week. There has been a lot of buzz about what people might do. I have been excited about the plans and conversations I have heard. I want to extend the timeline to the end of September. By September 30 do what you can to improve the lives of children. And one more thing, I would like you to let the church know what you have done. Simply email Linda or me. We want to celebrate the impact we can have on our community. Thank you.
My daughter lives in a small nearby town and last night a friend and I drove there to visit her. It was a really nice evening, so we decided to go for a walk. The town has a town square with a stately old courthouse. We headed for the square, with a stop at the local ice cream shop on the way.
We got our ice cream and we walked on toward the square. The sun was going down. The shops were closed. We strolled and window shopped.
We came to a corner and as we stood there waiting for the light to change, a car ran a red light and hit a pickup truck broadside. If you have ever witnessed an accident, you know the sounds. The squeal of tires as the driver realized his mistake and tried to stop. The thump as the car and pickup collide. The crunch of metal. The sound of glass and plastic shattering. It all happened in an instant.
A big dog had been riding in the back of the pickup and on impact, it flew out of the bed of the truck, into the air and onto the concrete.
We all felt a burst of adrenaline. My daughter reached for her phone to call 911 and told us to see if everyone was all right. We ran into the street and called to the drivers. The driver of the pickup got out quickly. He seemed angry but physically fine. He scooped up his dog and put him in the cab. He told us the dog was all right too. I hope the dog was. He has to be pretty bruised and sore today.
The driver of the car sat stunned for a bit longer and then he got out too. He told us he was ok.
The driver of the truck yelled at the driver of the car. The driver of car shouted back “I am sorry” and then he leaned his head against his car. They wisely kept their distance from one another.
When all this began we were the only people on the street, but within a few minutes a dozen people, who must have heard the collision, arrived.
The police arrived quickly. They were calm and matter of fact, all business.
The truck had a sizable dent in the side. The car was in much worse shape. The front end was smashed in. It would not start and didn’t look like it was drivable. It was sitting in the middle of the intersection obstructing traffic. The two police officers pushed the car out of traffic and into a parking spot. Then the driver stood and talked with them. I heard one of the police officers say “It happens.”
Just a few hours earlier I preached about forgiveness.
The guy ran a red light. Why would he do such a thing? There are probably a dozen good reasons why he would. Maybe he was tired because he was working too much. A lot of people are working too much these days. Maybe he was distracted by whatever else is going on in his life. Maybe he just didn’t see the truck. Every driver has had a moment when they “just didn’t see” something or other.
Sunday morning, we talked about an economy of forgiveness. You forgive me, and because I have been forgiven, I forgive someone else, and that person extends forgiveness and we all do this because ultimately we have all been forgiven by God and really it is the only way to live. I once rear-ended a pickup truck. It was completely my fault.
For a moment last night, the peace was disrupted. And there are consequences. Someone, probably the police, had to sweep up all that glass and plastic. Today the insurance companies are at work sorting out the damages. The driver of the car will be without transportation for a while. I hope the dog is ok. By morning, more consequences may be evident.
We walked on home and you could feel a sense of grace settling around as though God got the 911 call too. Peace being restored. There was a path forward in forgiveness. There is always a path forward in forgiveness.
Pastor Cindy Hickman
West Des Moines United Methodist Church
Like us on Facebook or visit us at wdmumc.org
We worship at 8:30 and 11 and we would love to worship with you.
This week at WDMUMC…
Wednesday Night Live supper at 5:30 and all sorts of activities around the church. You are invited!
We are building a Habitat for Humanity House in our parking lot on October 7. Check out our website for details!
Next week I will be on vacation and there will be no midweek devotion. Love God and serve your neighbors. Or serve God and love your neighbors. Either works.