Yes, that was click-bait. Yes, you fell for it. Thank you. Because, it’s going to be worthwhile. I did get hit by a truck.
Jamie wants to paint the apartment for her birthday. I’m cool with that. But life’s busy and we had to sneak in a trip to the paint shop on Monday as part of her “birthday celebration.” Costco happens to be close and while she was getting the final paint choices mixed, I jutted over to grab some blueberries, coffee beans, and of course, this year’s birthday dessert of choice: cheesecake. After coming out of the parking lot, I came to a red light and when it turned green, I began driving. I noticed a blue truck making a u-turn next to me, but figured with two lanes for traffic, he would stay on his side and I’d have my lane to keep going. Then, he decided to go for a quick right turn into an alley I didn’t notice was right next to me. As he was trying to turn in, our vehicles kissed. Simultaneously, my shoulder got a momentary massage from his large mirror (which, perhaps could have been used to see me :-).
He slammed on the brakes. To keep from getting rolled over, I moved my scooter. As he’s coming out, he says, “Couldn’t you see I was turning?” No comment. I text Jamie, “Got hit by a truck, you might want to take a taxi home with the paint.” In retrospect, not the best text to send to your wife without a little more detail. Things like, “I’m ok” or “everything is fine, I’m unhurt,” seem to be useful in this scenario. He calls his work buddy who comes out and starts talking as well. We call local law enforcement to ensure that things are handled safely and no issues arise. The first officer comes, takes basic statements, snaps a few pictures, and calls in the official report-writer, who asks what we want to do. Apparently, you can choose to let it go, or you can make an official report and go through a legal process. I’m feeling good and my scooter has no new problems (honestly, I couldn’t even find a scratch), so I vote, “let’s get out of here.” But of course it’s a company truck, so he wants to make sure he’s not paying for it. When they say they want to make an official report, the second officer seems a little perturbed. I bet he’s thinking the same thing I’m thinking: “You just hit a scooter, the driver of the scooter is unscathed, your tiny plastic bumper fell off, and you want to make this into a thing?”
So, he starts filling out the paperwork. At one point, we each get to make our own separate statements out of ear shot of the other party. They go first. But it turns out the driver and his friend, who didn’t witness the accident, are telling two different stories. This doesn’t make our wonderful police officer any happier. They get in a bit of a yelling match, but eventually everything settles down and I get called over. At this point, it’s safe to say I’m a little nervous, because he was just drilling those guys on details (you’re out of ear shot until yelling starts, then you’re basically in the conversation), and I’m not even confident I can remember much in English let alone Chinese mixed with Taiwanese. But he’s got his clipboard and he starts asking questions. The first one, “Is English hard? Because my daughter is in 4th grade and she says it’s hard.” Well, with five years of experience teaching English to 1-5th graders, I feel that’s right up my alley. I give some good answers, and he seems generally satisfied. I’m not sure how the other guys did on the English questions, though.
He continues: “Why did you come to Taiwan?” I say, “missions.” He asks, “Mormon?” “No, just Christian.” This is the first frown I’ve personally gotten. He says, “aren’t there enough Christians already?” “Well, are you a Christian?” He quickly responds with a “No.” To which I promptly follow, “Well, then my work’s not done yet, is it?” Finally, by round three I’m answering questions regarding the actual event as it transpired. I do my best to recall and bring out some of those juicy deets that keep us all coming back for more. He’s gets everything written down, has me sign, and we go back to the other guy. We both have to sign a statement and we can decide to press charges or let it go. If any laws were broken, we’ll get our ticket in the mail soon.
Later, that day, the guy who hit me calls and says that he’d like to sign an agreement to pay our own personal costs and not take anything any further. Sounds like a plan. But at the same time, I’m wondering if I’m supposed to get reimbursed, or if it was his fault, or what’s the deal. I called a friend who works at a law office and she gave me the best answer: “Why don’t you ask Holy Spirit what you should do and see how you can be a blessing?” Then, it hit me. That’s what this is all about. That’s what life is about. Even when you get hit by a truck, you’re there to be a blessing. “The proof that God is with you is not that He got you out of the valley, it’s that He walked with you through it” (Furtick, and this one). So, I decided, not knowing whose fault the law says it is, or what the consequences could potentially be. But, I understood one thing: I can be a blessing. So I was kind and gracious when we signed that paper. And I gave him a red envelope, a small financial gift just saying, “I’m sorry this happened, and I wish you the best.”
I was so encouraged I had the privilege of seeing this situation in a different light. Maybe there are some situations that you’re dealing with right now and you’re not sure how you’re going to get through them. You might not know all the consequences, but one thing you do know is that God is with you. He’s getting into your pain, lack of position, sense of insignificance, singleness, brokenness, and everything else you might be dealing with. He’s good. He put you in this situation (Philippians 1) so that He can shine through you. You’re not a hostage to your situation to your situation. May you see every situation of your life for the beauty which it brings!