My Life with God

Near Collision

I pulled into Walmart early in the morning, when the parking lot was fairly empty. It was apparently empty enough one man thought he would just cut through the open spaces. I watched him as I continued to drive the more traditional path, because it was possible we’d meet at just about the same place at the same time. Sure enough, we did. I slowed down, because I was pretty sure he didn’t see me. I was right. He slammed on his brakes when he realized he was about to cut me off. I was driving slowly and cautiously, so wouldn’t have collided. I assumed he was in a hurry. I waved and smiled and parked in the second to closest parking space. I left the closest one for him. But he had already found an alternate spot and was scurrying into the store.

I only needed two items and quickly found them. I scanned one of them in self-checkout then realized I might need more of the second item. I asked an employee if I should leave the other item and come back to the same register. She assured me she’d watch to make sure no one chose that station. There were plenty of other options, and no one else was ready to check out. However, when I got back, she had apparently been distracted, and someone was already scanning items. Yes, the same guy who drove across the parking lot.

I politely approached him and apologized. I briefly explained and encouraged him to keep scanning while I asked the same employee to please take my item off his order so I could move to another station. He apologized repeatedly. I tried to assure him it was just fine. I was in no hurry. He teared up and quietly said, “Thank you.”

It only took me a couple minutes to check out, and I was in my car when he hustled out of the store. I smiled and waved as I drove by, but he was focused and rushed. I have no idea what he was experiencing, but I prayed for him. And maybe that was the reason God allowed our paths to cross that morning. Some encounters with people seem casual, but this one seemed more purposeful, as if God made it obvious I needed to see this man and pray for his day. Why? I don’t know. But sometimes we don’t know the why; we simply know we must respond.

Stay alert today. Be willing to notice the path, people, and details God purposes for you.

5 thoughts on “Near Collision”

  1. I absolutely elusive that God puts us where He needs us. Sometimes it’s just a subtle hint like your experience you describe here. Other times…well, as an example: my husband and I went on a trip to the Smoky Mountains for our 30th wedding anniversary. Our first night in Ougeon Forge we ate at a restaurant not far from where we were staying; it was around 7:30 in the evening, and many of the restaurants in the area still had packed parking lots and we assumed long waits. We were seated inside, and about halfway through the meal, we hear a thud behind us as a gentleman fell when trying to get out of the booth seat. I had my back to him, so I didn’t want to turn around and look; my first thought was that he may have had a bit much to drink as it was a German establishment with a long list of beers/ales. My husband seemed mildly concerned, and his first comment was “well, he’s speaking, so he’s not choking.” (Yes, we have had that experience before too.) Then he tells the men behind us that I’m a nurse. So I lean around, and learn that his right arm and leg don’t want to work properly. So I flip into my nurse assessment mode and asked various questions when we are assessing for a possible stroke. He wasn’t having chest pain either. I looked up when one of the wait staff approached and told them to call 911. I found myself wishing I had my pulse oximeter in my purse (I have a cheap one but had taken it out to lighten the load, thinking I most likely would not need it…) but from what I could taking his pulse the old fashioned way, it was slightly irregular, which made me ask if he had ever been told he had atrial fibrillation. (This is an arrhythmia that is one of the main causes of strokes—blood clots form because the top portion of the heart is not contracting properly.) Several minutes pass, the manager comes over and asks if someone called 911. One of the fellows with the gentleman said “I would but I don’t know the address here!” So the manager called.

    Long story short they did transport him out of the restaurant, and were going to take him to where a flight to could transport him to a bigger hospital with a certified stroke management program.
    He looked at me and apologized—I told him no apology was necessary, just be well!
    The manager was grateful and comped our meal for the evening—which to me was unnecessary, I really did not do anything! (They said they had to charge me for my wine, which I did gladly—and gave the wait staff a generous tip.)

    But yes—there are moments when I go “ok, yes I was supposed to be here!”

    Liked by 1 person

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