Me and a Dump Truck

Last week as I was driving to a hair appointment, a guy driving an SUV honked his horn from behind me before speeding around me as he used an angry hand gesture.

Lovely (I write with sarcasm)

What the “honker” does not know is that about a mile prior, I found myself behind a dump trunk loaded with stones. Every time the truck hit a bump, stones went flying toward the cars traveling behind. I wasn’t the only car that was quickly braking to create distance and switch lanes.

The problem continued.

Even after I managed to create distance and move one lane over, the truck hit another bump and one stone crossed lanes and hit my windshield with a loud crack. I don’t know how it didn’t damage my windshield (an intervention from an angel, perhaps). In any case, I switched lanes again to be two lanes away from the truck.

Perfect timing

Just as I entered the new lane, I also entered a construction zone with orange signs warning drivers to slow our speed. In those few seconds of indecision when I was figuring out whether to exceed the speed limit in order to get past the dump truck two lanes over, or stay within the speed limit through the construction, the SUV driver came up behind me, honked, and passed by with an angry face and hand gesture.

I spent the rest of the trip thinking about what happened.

I know one thing for sure. I don’t want to be him. I don’t want that angry face; I don’t want to honk; and I don’t want to gesture angrily at anyone. Had the SUV man known I was trying to avoid a dump truck and flying stones, he might have been more patient because he would have understood better what he was seeing, but that’s not the point.

I am not obligated to explain in order to be treated kindly.

None of us are obligated to explain a disability, or reveal that we didn’t sleep well last night, or tell others we have cancer, or explain that we are despondent because a loved one died. We don’t have to tell people that we cried all morning because the checking account had $5 in it. Though I was unable to tell the angry driver why I had slowed to 50 mph in the fast lane, the point is that I would not be obligated to tell him about dodging stones even if I did have opportunity to explain.

People are deciding whether to be kind.

I believe I am watching a shift in our culture. It seems most people

  • think others are obligated to explain themselves,
  • think their perceptions are accurate, and
  • are deciding whether to be kind.

Let’s be more astute than that! Let’s be kind because we understand how little we know from the fragments of life we see, and because we understand that no one is obligated to share the details of their lives with us in order for us to understand exactly what we are seeing and to decide whether to be kind.

What does our bible say?

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them.”  Matthew 7:12 ESV

“But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.” Luke 6:27 ESV

“But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great.” Luke 6:35 ESV

We may not be obligated to explain the details of our lives to everyone, but Scripture tells us we are obligated to love the person we are interacting with at any given moment. Does that slow car sometimes annoy you too? Maybe so, but if any of us could talk to the driver, we would understand what we are seeing. Assume there is a legitimate reason. Don’t honk. Don’t speed by. Don’t gesture.

Children of God, let’s be different!

Picture Explanation: There’s a lot of teamwork happening in my family right now. We are helping each other out. Brothers helping sisters. Sisters helping dad. It’s good.

Speaking of using our brief life to be kind even to enemies: If you are interested in being contacted to participate in a One Gritty Blink Bible study, click on the Oaks Ministries link below and send me an email so I can place you on a list to be contacted as online and face-to-face studies are planned. Let’s not just focus on things in this short life, but also what counts for eternity!

Note: No part of my posts are derived from A.I. Thoughts and writing stem from my mind and heart as I process life week-by-week and continue to grow in my understanding of God and how to apply His wisdom to the world around me.

© 2024 by Oaks Ministries. All rights reserved.


6 Responses

  1. Hi Friend. Great lesson from daily life! I’ve written this before in my comments, but I keep coming back to it when I’m on the road. I am trying to pray for the hundreds, even thousands of other drivers, pedestrians, and shop visitors I pass on the roads I travel during rush hour. That is better than getting frustrated! Such a good post about empathy! Thanks!

    1. Thank you for the reminder to pray for those traveling by. I prayed for people in a store last week as I waited in line to pay but I forget about the roads.

      It is a stunning reality that people around the globe return home from trips and they have no idea they were prayed for. All the unseen blessings that occur without our knowledge, but God hears and sees it all and produces fruit.

  2. Thank you for your posts each week! They are always so helpful in reminding us of what is important in our lives. Your perspective and insight are always a blessing!

  3. I appreciate your blog, Laurie. When people do what you described, they’re actually cursing the other driver. I see evidence both of God saying that those who curse others will be cursed, like a boomerang, but also Him commanding us to bless those that curse us. I do, though, ask God to raise a shield over me in those cases, and announce that all accusations of the enemy– whether he’s bugging me about a past offense already forgiven or a false accusation like that– fall powerless and extinguished, that it boomerangs on the true enemy! At the same time, what an honor that God blesses me! He doesn’t just take down the arrows, he speaks of his delight in me, and reminds me of his endless, in-escapeable love, that He is for me, not against me! What a different world this would be if people (and drivers!) caught and extended that kind of grace! Imagine highways filled with tons of drivers filled with the fruit of the Spirit! Imagine homes where parents actually humble themselves to apologize for losing their temper. May God bring many to Himself and revive His bride to live differently!

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I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes growth.

1 Corinthians 3:6

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