It’s no secret that I’m a nut-magnet. Seriously disturbed people have fought their way through huge crowds just to be in my presence. If there are a hundred people sitting in a room and I’m in the exact center of that room when a crazy person comes in the door, they are likely to ask the person next to me to move so they can have the seat. I’m serious.
It’s also no secret that one of my top three biggest fears is hitting someone with my vehicle. I have recurring dreams about it and several people have been in a car with me when people have literally ran out in front of me.
We lived in Korea from 1998-2000. While living there, I witnessed several pedestrians get hit by cars, but there was one incident that had a huge impact on me. I really don’t think the man had any hope of surviving and I sat there in shock as the driver and a few other drivers who witnessed the accident hopped out of their cars, picked the man up, deposited him on the sidewalk, hopped back in their vehicles and drove away. It’s a scene that plays out in my mind in slow motion. I was right behind the driver that hit the man. He flew in the air, landed in the middle of the intersection, and then the driver actually pulled forward and stopped on top of the man. After stepping out of his car, he had to get back in and pull forward in order to get his vehicle off of the mans abdomen. I watched the man who’d been hit lay on the sidewalk with blood coming from several locations and his limbs twisted in very unnatural positions. And..NOBODY stopped to help him. People literally just stepped over him as if he weren’t there.
I pressed the emergency number on my Korean cell phone and was connected to a lady who spoke no English. I spoke little Korean and we could not communicate. Eventually an ambulance came to the scene. The paramedics actually lifted the man up and just carried him into the back of the ambulance and drove away. No gurney. No police. No accident report. For eleven years, I’ve seen that scene in slow motion.
My magnetism and fears caught up with me today. Today I should have been reading and writing. Instead I spent my time doctoring my sick hubby and doing load after load of laundry. I am attempting to find a happy reconciliation of the five different edits that I’ve made of the book I’ve written. I have never laid all of the different versions out in front of me and read them in parallel fashion. Now that I’m in the process of doing exactly that (and I’ve promised to deliver it), I’m having a hard time deciding what to keep and what to toss. Prayers on this matter are GREATLY appreciated….
While I should have been sitting in a quiet place searching for what will be in the final version of my book, I called and made myself an appointment for an eye exam. My prescription expired in December and I ran out of contacts a couple of weeks ago. I had this brilliant thought that having brand new contacts in my eyes might just be the one thing that would help me find the motivation and clarity to complete my project. I waited an hour past my appointment time before they called me back.
To be honest, it wasn’t that awful. The place was quiet and I hadn’t brought my laptop so I felt excused from my obligation to work on the book.
After seeing the doctor, discovering that my vision has improved in the last year, and leaving with a brand new pair of contacts, I stopped at the drugstore to grab my hubby some meds and distilled water for his humidor. As I left the pharmacy, this burgundy Oldsmobile Silhouette that was built about the time Chad and I got married, pulled out in front of me. He immediately started tapping his brakes. So, I slowed down, kept a good distance between us, and made a mental note of his license plate. A little over a mile after the van pulled in front of me, he pulled over to the side of the road and came to a complete stop. Like anyone who’s tired of driving behind someone who is driving erratically, I had been waiting for an opportunity to get past him. Here was my opportunity. As I pulled alongside the van, the driver’s door flew open and in a second this crazy man was pounding all over my husband’s car. He started at the hood and then moved to the passenger’s window about the time that I realized my doors weren’t locked. Since he was no longer directly in front of me
and because he was scaring the crap out of me, I slowly pulled forward and put at least half a football field between us before I pulled over. I looked back and he was standing in the road with his arms spread wide, screaming at me. I grabbed my phone, dialed 911, and stepped out of my car before pressing talk.
I then screamed, “What were you doing?”
He responded, “You were riding my a$$!”
Me ~ “No I wasn’t. You were driving like an idiot and I kept enough space between us to see your tires and read your license plate.”
Crazy man then starts closing the gap between us, limping, and screaming, “YOU RAN OVER MY FOOT! THAT’S A FELONY! YOU ASSAULTED ME WITH YOUR CAR!”
He was probably still twenty feet away from me when his eau-de-liquor drifted my way. I pressed talk and informed him in the calmest voice that I could muster, “I’m calling the cops. I’ll get you an ambulance.”
And then…as I put the phone to my ear, he hopped in his old dirty nasty oxidized van and sped off into the neighborhood.
The dispatcher asked if I’d like someone to come to the scene or if I’d rather have an officer meet me at home. I opted for home.
As I started to give the kind officer my description, he stopped writing and shook his head. ” I know who the guy is. What was he driving?” Once again he started shaking his head as soon as I gave a description. I handed him the tag number and he said that he was going to run it, but it probably didn’t match the vehicle. He then said, “The guys a little coo-coo and unpredictable. He lives around there. If you see the vehicle again and he sees you, just call us right away.” Great, Officer. Just great.
He ran the plates. They belonged to a 2010 Toyota Camry.
My dear friend Kim listened to my story tonight and then prayed with me. In the middle of her prayer, I had a moment of realization. The man is hurting. I’m not just talking about his crushed foot. He’s really hurting. People don’t drink and rage like that without experiencing some pretty big emotional wounds in life. And…he chose me. He could have jumped out of his car and raged at someone who already had their concealed carry permit (I haven’t gotten mine yet). He could have continued to drive drunk and killed himself and/or others. But he didn’t. He chose me and now I have a choice. I can be freaked out and frustrated. Or I can be compassionate and pray for him. I’m gonna sleep on it, but I’m sure tomorrow I’ll choose option 2.
Well crap. I really don’t have any choice. Before I could even finish typing “option 2”, this went through my head…..
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” NLT
And then this….
1 Thessalonians 5:14-18
“Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone. See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people. Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” NLT
and lastly this….
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” NLT