I sure didn't mean to hit the kid. I mean, it was just a tiny tap on the bumper. You would have thought I wrecked the whole car. Why did I pick that moment to turn to the back seat, letting off the brake pedal as I turned? I anxiously sighed.
But he was about 17, scared, and not too excited about this mid-day crisis.
Of course, I was in a dreadful hurry. But the look on his face - this could be my son, I thought - told me I'd better slow down.
Per my suggestion, I followed him to his dad's restaurant on the west side of Frankfort. We needed a Dad's perspective here; afterall, his dad owned the car.
A gentleman in a white, soiled apron rushed out the back door of La Cocina, speaking rapid-fire Spanish, while his son simultaneously tried to explain how I rolled into his car at the stoplight on Versailles Road. The kid pointed to a mark on his bumper, gesturing wildly toward my bumper. I kindly interrupted the exchange, chiming in with Spanish, hoping this would be a helpful surprise.
The father softened as he glanced to me, the Stranger. I wondered if he thought what I was thinking: Esto es ridículo. There was a longish scratch and maybe the slightest indentation, but nothing on Bessie (my van--in case you don't know her). One far wing of their bumper had a significant ding which told me that this might not have been the first bender the kid had ever had.
After several long moments, then with a shrug of his shoulders, Papá squared eyes with me and said, "Is no-thing. Forgate it. Is rally no-thing"
I countered with, "Lo siento, Señor. Gracias. Lo siento." And off Bessie and I hauled it after 45 minutes of bemoaning this collission in two languages.
Off the hook. Did I muck the bumper of their shiny, new Camry? Truly, I am positively not positive, but I do know I hit the car and this was definitely my fault. Yet, somehow the kid and I were both off the hook, and we both felt unmistakably relieved.
This escapade caused me to consider my Savior and the grace He extends to me when I don't deserve it. Forgiving means we lift someone higher than we are. Then we turn, leaving the issue behind and letting them off the hook.
From the heinous of crimes to the most inconsequential of accidents, God offers His Son to bear the debt that our sins incur and to bridge the gap between our missteps and God's very heart.
God lifts us higher than our sin. Let's be reminded of this mystery and the profound gratitude it ought to bring to our hearts. And if we are really serious, when someone taps us, we seize the opportunity to love and to lift them higher than their sin. Forgiveness is quite costly, but we give way to grace because Grace continues to give way to us.
Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other,
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