My wife was just rear-ended in a car collision. Let me start this personal message by saying this; don’t worry, she’s fine. But the incident also forced me to take a look at myself and made me realize why I’m so proud of her.
A run of the mill stop light rear-ending. My wife pulled up, stopped, but the lady behind her didn’t. The crash occurred. When my wife told me about it on the phone, my first instinct was to get mad. “She was probably texting or something, right?!” I yelled.
“… can you stop for a second and let me just tell you what happened?” she responded much more level-headed in tone.
She went on to tell me that as she exited her vehicle, the lady who’d hit her was noticeably agitated. My wife also noticed that she was a cancer-patient, undergoing chemo. Furthermore, she noticed a cross on said woman’s window.
Before she could escalate the situation any further, my wife asked her if she was okay. The first thing my wife did was check on the woman, not her own car. Immediately the woman’s tone changed and she became less angry, more apologetic.
"I wasn't texting or anything," she defended herself. "It's just chemo-brain. I was distracted. I'm so sorry."
“Accidents happen,” my wife said. “I notice you have a cross on your window. This is what being a Christian is. What kind of Christians would we be if we just screamed and raged at each other all the time over accidents?"
Completely disarmed, the woman broke down into tears, clutching my wife as they stood there on the shoulder of the road, hugging each other. The woman proceeded to tell my wife her story. She told my wife about her cancer treatments, about losing her fiancé, about how hard it's been and about how cancer was the best thing that ever happened to her because it brought her back to God after she'd long lost her way. Along with insurance information exchanged, my wife made sure to get the lady's personal info, promising that we'd be praying for her.
Finally, the police officer arrived on the scene, dumbfounded.
"Usually people aren't hugging and laughing with a car in that kind of shape!" He said. "I've never seen anything like it." The officer was touched as well to see a display of humanity in a context where many people lose theirs. Once all information was exchanged and the reports were filed, everyone went on their merry way.
Think about this for a second. This entire situation could have been wildly different had people's perceptions and reactions been different. My wife could have flown into a rage. The other woman could have been uncooperative, the police officer could have been on a curt power trip. Instead, an unfortunate car accident was turned into a positive human interaction for everyone involved. A blessing.
That's entirely due to a CHOICE. A choice to be kind, a choice to be compassionate and empathetic. I'll be honest, sometimes that's not my choice. Sometimes, like many of us, I can be too quick to anger, and too slow to listen. Who knows how many blessings of which I've robbed MYSELF when I give into carnal instincts like that. Let alone others.
It's why everyday, I'm a work in progress.
But most of all, it's why I love my wife.