It was one Wed night a few weeks ago.
The drive back home was brutal. Traffic jam was everywhere. On top of that, I had an upset stomach. All I could think about was rushing back home.
It was a block away from my house when I was looking for my keys while driving. Without paying attention, the car in front of me stopped. I looked up just in time to press hard on the brakes.
It was too late.
It was those moment where time stood still…
CRASH…the car in front of me shook as I felt the impact….
I got out immediately and checked if the driver was alright. I apologize for what happened. I wasn’t paying attention and this was my fault.
There’s no way around it. I should have paid more attention.
We both access the damage. It was minor. The screws that were holding my license plate chipped the bottom of his bumper.
I told him to get a quote from the body shop and I would take care of it. In the midst of traffic, honking and yelling at us for holding up traffic as people were heading home…..we exchanged phone numbers and were on our way.
I assumed this was his first accident. He needed more information from me. Like my driver license, my car insurance number and my license plate. I could have drove away and there is nothing he could do to follow up.
We exchanged phone calls and text messages. He didn’t know where to find a car repair shop. So I found one and told him to meet there with me a few days later. I told him what he should do next time. I could have walked away and he couldn’t do a thing. I had been in accident where I wasn’t at fault and was accused of causing the accident. Because I didn’t take down all the necessary info, it was a mess.
After exchanging a few phone calls and text messages, we met up in a body shop last week. As we waited for the mechanic, we got to know each other more. I was surprise how he dealt with the whole situation. He could be very angry for his new car. Yet, he thanked me for helping him finding a mechanic. It was almost as if this was his fault.
The more we talk, the more I get to know more about him.
His name is Im. He has been in Canada for a year and a half. He is looking for a job. In Canada, employer tends to look for people with Canadian experience. It is difficult to find anything that is related to his field.
I was surprised by his generosity and his gratefulness of me helping him (which I don’t think I help him because I hit him in the first place).
I had been reading Tim Keller‘s Ministries of Mercies: The Call of the Jericho Road. The book is based on an occasion when an expert of the Law asked Jesus who were his neighbors. Jesus told the parable of the Good Samaritan and in a reversal asked the expert who was the neighbors in the parable. To which, the expert replied, the Samaritan man.
In that time, the Israelites hated the Samaritans because they were half Jews. Jesus used a parable to show the expert who his were his neighbors: his enemy, the Samaritan man, that shown mercy.
Jesus surprised the expert with mercy from his ‘enemies’.
Through the whole car accident, I was surprised by how much mercy I was given. Im could have easily blame me for all his hassle. Instead, he thanked me.
I deserve none of this. Im doesn’t own me anything. Yet Im acted as if he was in debt.
It is a small reminder of the mercy that Jesus gave me. It is the experience of feeling when I know I am in debt..and yet the debt was forgiven by the debtor. Just as Jesus forgive of my sins on the cross.
I wrote a check to fix Im‘s bumper. I also told Im that I would look over his resume and see if I could offer him a few suggestions. He thanked me for the moral support.
The heart transformed when it is surprised by mercy…..and my heart is reminded of the mercy I was bestowed upon….