Jumped on the freeway today to go and see a bunch of high school students from my ministry in a musical. Of course I left early to meet anyone who wanted to join me at In-N-Out.
I was driving along until I saw brakelights on the freeway. Traffic. My first thought was to get of the freeway to get aroun it. So I did. When I was about to turn left I saw that the traffic was moving again right after the next onramp do I jumped back on.
As I got back on the freeway I saw the emergency vehicles and personnel tending to the victims of the accident. As I sat and waited, an ambulance passed by me on the right, cut across the traffic and parked behind the fire truck, out of sight. As I crept up, I saw what the problem was. A Ford Excursion had rolled (unsure of how many times) but was sitting on all four tires. Inside was a woman in the front that firemen were working to free from the wreckage.
And then I drove off.
My mind was still on what I had just seen. And then my focus switched to something else. I noticed cars and motorcycles getting on the freeway on the following on-ramps. As I watched them get on to "cruising speed" it hit me: "they have no idea what is behind them." They had no clue that about a mile back lives had been hurt. It made me stop and think.
How often do I run my life without thinking about what has happened behind me? I'm not talking about remembering my own past, because I'm supposed to forget about that and strain for what's ahead (Philippians 3:12-14, ESV). Rather, I'm talking about approaching people and showing them grace as if their past is filled with wreckage and pain. Too often I react to people rather than respond to people out of grace.
Jesus - Please help me love people as you do. You know how our pasts affect our present. Because of that, you continue to show grace. Help me do the same.