Several weeks ago, I headed out in search of some very tall athletic socks for my son to wear with his shorts. Is that a trend where you live? Probably. But, if not, give it a little while– we tend to be at the front of the pack for trends here in the Northeast and it’s been here for well over a year already.
Anyway, those socks can be super pricey and, since I don’t really have fifteen bucks to drop on a pair of socks, I went to TJMaxx to see if I could get lucky. And I did! Hooray! I also found some pretty new rugs and towels for our lovely renovated bathrooms.
I paid, strolled to my car, and drove out of the parking lot, up to the light. I had my own turn lane and I waited there, happy as a lark. The light turned green and I started driving.
photo source: Geraint Rowland
And that’s when I realized that I did not, in fact, have a green arrow.
I was miliseconds from turning left directly in front of a Sam Adams delivery truck.
I hit my brakes, eyes wide, the apology all over my face. Luckily for me, the driver of that truck was paying attention and just waved me on, without rude gestures or crass words– or, if there were crass words, they were under his breath.
I completed the turn, shame causing my cheeks to flame, and continued on driving. Really, there was no harm done. We were all fine and life went on. But it got me thinking…
Most people who know me would tell you I’m not a pushy, assertive person. At all. I’m far more likely to let you in line than to cut ahead and I am a to-the-bone rule-follower. Agression makes me uncomfortable and I’d rather wait my turn than vie for position. This is just who I am.
But, in that snapshot of a moment, I was the girl trying to buck the system and get ahead. I was a pushy, aggressive, at-fault driver who has no excuse for my actions, really. I just flat messed up.
And can I tell you what a blessing it was to have my lapse forgiven? To have the other driver simply wave me on, without screaming or gesturing wildly at me?
It was a gift.
Had he been angry and vulgar toward me, I would have accepted it. You will not hear me try to justify my mistake or claim it wasn’t my fault. It totally was.
But in that moment, the other driver chose to look beyond my pushy, reckless move and see the human behind the wheel.
He gave me grace.
And that’s something we could all use a bit more of.