It was a hazy evening, and the sun was steadily working its way into the southwestern corner of the sky. Things were moving. Life was in full swing. My first week of work was behind me, and I was feeling good.
Then it happened, all too quickly. Or was it slowly?
A large black pickup truck pulled out in front of me. I slammed on the brakes. The sound of my own tires screeching seemed peripheral, like the sound of people’s voices when you’re starting to fall asleep. Time proceeded both more quickly and more slowly in those few seconds. And the only thing I could think was, "How hard will we hit? How much will this hurt?"
The sound of the crash will never leave me. The feeling of being jerked forward and backward in the same second lingers still. I have a hard time remembering the first few minutes after the impact. All I remember was scrambling for my phone and (oddly enough) my keys, which were in the ignition all along. The haze of the 104-degree weather matched my state of mind.
One set of motions came to a halt and a new set of motions commenced. Paper work. Phone calls. Difficult insurance agents. Police reports. Asking for rides. None of this was my fault, but I had the most difficult tasks to complete to make things right. How backward can we be? It felt like my wings got clipped, and I fought against self-pity and anger at the bitter irony of it all. But through it all, God has worked things for the good and taught me a lesson in humility.
The campus was quiet as I walked. People came and went, moving about their day. I imagine they had plenty of things to do and places to be. I was no exception. And then I saw them. Arm in arm, happily in love. It caught me off guard.
I felt my heart beating. I was keenly aware of a particular pain inside my chest. It was not a physical pain; it was something much deeper. Disappointment, perhaps. Nagging questions. Feeling discarded. Pushed aside for the next best thing.
I looked down and pretended not to see them. I don’t know if he saw me. I prayed he didn’t. I was taken aback at my reaction, and the last thing I wanted to do was pretend like everything was alright between us.
I just don’t want to face this alone.
And then I felt Him near. He drew me to His side and whispered, It’s just you and Me. Somehow, in the midst of my battle, He brought me to a place of rest.
I fight it sometimes. Staying in one place for too long. But it’s now I realize that my true fight is to rest. I am in a season where God is trying to get me to settle into His rhythm. To be still long enough to actually see the place I am in. To be quiet and peaceful and to breathe. Why does humanity struggle just to rest? What should come naturally now seems forced. What should never be natural now seems commonplace. It’s become a must. A right. A part of life.
Often times all we need is a halting moment. One that stops us dead in our tracks. One that takes away our very breath. One that comes at us as quickly and powerfully as the jarring impact of two cars colliding. An encounter and a feeling that reminds us how desperately human we are. And how close He is to those who need His comfort. And as we begin to recognize these moments for the truth they hold—maybe, just maybe, we’ll begin to see the substance of which this Kingdom is made.