We live in a neighborhood accessed by only one road. As a result, we know the neighbors and their pets and also their cars and trucks. Earlier this week, on one of my daily walks with our dog, Zipporah, I had a near death experience. An unfamiliar truck swerved across the road and came way too close to where I had scrambled for refuge in one of the neighbor’s yards. I looked up and saw an unfamiliar face in the driver’s window as the truck sped by. Once my heart slowed down, Zipporah and I finished our walk. I was a little shaken, but otherwise okay. I told my husband that evening about the mishap, and then mostly forgot about it.
As I walked Zipporah again the next day, I saw one of the neighbors I do not know well working at the house he purchased when the older couple who had lived there died. I waved and started to pass by, but he came out to the road to meet me, so I stopped. He said he wanted to apologize and told me he had been driving the truck that came too close to me the day before. He said he had not slept the night before because he felt so bad about it. He told me he had been talking with his passenger about the relative they were going to visit at the hospital and was not paying close enough attention to his driving.
I assured him I was fine and thanked him for letting me know. And I asked about the relative, who was doing better by then. We chatted briefly before I continued on down the road. Since then, I have thought about the conversation and this neighbor. In our culture, the response to making a mistake seems too often to consist of offering explanation and blaming someone else for the problem. The apology was an unexpected blessing. It began a relationship between the two of us where none had existed before. I am grateful to know a man of honor lives in our neighborhood. Our world would be a better place if there were more like him.
Grace and Peace,