It must have been the mother bear instinct in me that stopped me in the middle of the street, planting my feet like boulders on one of the stripes painted on the asphalt. I glared at the driver and pointed at the stripes of the crosswalk quite emphatically. At that moment a thought what could have happened to me didn't even cross my mind. I was thinking of all the elementary age children, some quite small, daily crossing the street in that spot, because, unimaginable as it may seem to some, they don't have an alternative to getting to school except by the power of their own two little feet.
The person inside the SUV, however, would have none of it! He swung around me, his tires screeching, and then slammed on the breaks, rolled down the window and screamed,
F...ing wh...! I turned and looked at him, quite shocked, I must say, for even though I don't think I live under a glass bell, I have never in my entire life being called such names in my face. As if reading the confusion clearly spelled out all over me, he screamed that much more loudly, I guess wanting to make sure I didn't miss a word:
You, F.... WH...!!! And drove off.
I finally crossed the street, giving two-thumbs up to the patient driver who actually stopped to let me walk to the other side of the street.
I was thinking...
Well, he is wrong. I am not f%#@?& w@?&. I am a faithful wife to the love of my life. I am a mom to two wildly amazing children. I am a child of the God who created the entire Universe. I have been washed and cleansed by the blood of the Lamb. I am holy and beloved, chosen by Christ to walk in good works which God has prepared for me beforehand that I should walk in them. Actually, even this very moment, I am on my way to do what He is calling me to do - to help those who are the most disadvantaged in my daughter's classroom!
The question inside my head, however, still remained,
But, why does he see me as a F..... W....?!!!
I don't know what business he was about but I could tell that he was in a great rush. I didn't see it, but he might have had a woman in labor with a child on the back seat. I still clearly remember my husband driving like a maniac in the middle of one August night almost eleven years ago with his wife screaming into his ear to slow down... and hurry up.... and SLOW DOWN.... and HURRY UP!! Now, that would drive any driver insane!
What's your problem, crazy woman?!!! Make up your mind, and then tell me what to do!
I also saw that he was driving an armored vehicle. If that SUV had hit me at the speed he was going, I would have been a smear of a bug on the pavement. He was much, much bigger and stronger than me. Outside of a miracle, I stood no chance of survival, while the worst thing that could have happened to him would be just a dent on a bumper and a splatter of my blood and guts on his windshield.
Finally, I suspect most importantly, I was the wrong person at the wrong place at the wrong time, interfering with his agenda. I was a slow pedestrian crawling across the crosswalk at a human pace. And, in this man's universe, that's just not acceptable. And so in his eyes, I became a f..... w.... A piece of moral trash polluting his moral stratosphere.
So, I prayed to God that He slows the guy down before he crashes and destroys another human life, forever altering history of an entire family...and, in some limited sense, the entire world... I pray that He slows down all the out-of-control drivers sitting behind the armored vehicles bearing down the many roads of our lives before they wreak havoc in our families and communities and in the most profound sense, ruin their own lives. I pray that He slows all of us down so we can see other human beings the same way He does. Not as moral trash, an aggravating annoyance interfering with the 'important' mission I am on, but as beloved wives and moms, husbands and dads, children of God commissioned by Him to do good works which God has prepared beforehand so that we should walk in them.