I was recently in a car accident on my way to work here at St. Luke’s early one morning. I was waiting to turn right at the red light on Chapman Rd. at 426. A man in a large pickup truck slammed into the back of my car while I was stationary. I got out of the car and surveyed the damage to the back of my vehicle. The driver of the pickup stayed in his truck. It was dark outside so I could not see him at all. I was concerned – what would happen next?

I’ve been thinking about that car accident and what happened with the other driver in the context of our theme for this school year “Love First” based on Romans 5:8. I’ll confess that my first reaction after getting hit was not to “love the other driver first”. I was upset and discouraged. But I took a deep breath and approached the driver’s side of the pickup with something approximating a smile on my face. I suggested we pull into the Lutheran Haven and exchange information. Once he got out of his truck and we started to interact he was more than gracious and apologetic. He provided me with all the information I needed and shook my hand when we were done. Later during morning car line, he texted me the information on the claim he had filed and added, “Thank you for taking a negative situation and allowing it to be handled in a positive manner.”

What have I learned from this? That two people, even in the midst of a stressful situation, can “love first” and treat each other with kindness and respect. And in doing so they can defuse anger and hurt and replace that with human care. And only God can make that possible!