Collide
rusted car

Collide

We are born. We die. In between the moments and days and calm and chaos … there are collisions. Good ones. Bad ones. Accidental ones. They all matter. They all serve our story if we are alert enough to notice them.

I was very young. My dog was excited to see me and bumped into me, accidentally knocking me down. This wagging, hairy, drooling sweet collision resulted in giggling, doggy kisses, and rolling on the grass. Over fifty years later it still makes me smile. I have been intentionally colliding with dogs ever since, always with delightful results!

Elementary lunch room. No one is sitting by her. She dresses differently. She isn’t the prettiest or the smartest or the fastest runner at kickball. Other kids saw the empty places around her and turned away, choosing to sit with the cool kids. I saw the empty places around her and saw a place for me. I made a friend. I discovered she was funny, observant, and kind. She was a best friend until she moved away. That soft collision of friendship served me well. I learned to look for buried treasure in the outcasts. I learned I was an outcast with buried treasure of my own. I learned my value wasn’t defined by the cool kids.

The stressed out shopper in the grocery store. She only had a few things. It cost me nothing to invite her to check out before me. “Thank you so much — it’s been such a crazy day!” More of a tiny bump than a collision to be sure. But awareness makes all the difference. That awareness prompted me to say a quick prayer for her in my heart. I didn’t know her story. But God did, and our worlds collided — maybe for just that reason. Maybe God needed one of his kids to show her kindness and see her worth and pray for her. I know I could use some of that during my crazy days.

Sitting at the bedside of a spiritual warrior as she passes through the valley of the shadow of death. My world collides with grace. Frail hands grip mine as she lifts them in praise, literally singing until her voice is no more. I study her hands. Hands that have provided for and loved on her children and grandchildren. Hands that have faithfully served her God all her life. Hands that have been laid on others in prayer for healing. Hands that, in the short time I have known her, never failed to reach out to me in greeting.

That’s what I want to be when I grow up. I want more stories about how my world collided with someone else. I want to tell stories about how God rescued me. How someone collided with me at just the right moment and provided what I needed. Maybe encouragement. Maybe a prayer. Maybe something as simple as a smile. I want to be that for others. I want to remember what it’s like in the crazy, and respond in grace when someones crazy collides with mine. I want to be uncomfortable when I collide with injustice and hurt and despair. I don’t want to stay in a safe little bubble where nothing can hurt me, because nothing can change me there.

I want to collide.

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