It was raining, the traffic was bad but that was no excuse. I was sitting in the front passenger seat and I couldn’t believe what was happening… we had pulled up at a roundabout and were waiting for an opening in the traffic but just as an appropriate one appeared so too did a pedestrian.
What happened next I recall in slow motion: he stepped off the curb; my friend who was driving started to accelerate; and before I knew it, we had hit the pedestrian and he had rolled up and over the bonnet of the car landing incredulously upon his feet!
It was a totally surprising moment for us all – the driver was totally stunned, I sat there for what seemed ages but was probably only a few seconds and the pedestrian was speechless, standing upright with no apparent damage.
I stepped out of the car and checked that the slightly stunned pedestrian was really OK and at that moment his voice returned. He was justifiably angry and let fly at me as I tried to assure him that his welfare was our first concern. My enquiries found that he was completely unharmed and was merely shaken by the experience. His glasses, which had been knocked from his head, were not even damaged and so it was an incredibly fortuitous outcome for everyone.
The only thing the pedestrian wanted was an apology and an opportunity to vent a little anger in the direction of the driver. He was given the opportunity to vent, the apology was offered, eventually accepted and we were once again on our way.
Moments like this really make you think: you think about how fast and how easily things can go wrong but also how much worse this event could have turned out.
Imagine, we hit a pedestrian but he wasn’t hurt and the car wasn’t even damaged!
‘Grace’ can be defined as being given a better outcome than you once deserved. The whole of Christianity is centred upon this concept of Grace – God’s unmerited favour and provision.
As we drove off we were very mindful of how different our afternoon could have looked and we were very thankful for the way things turned out. It felt like we had escaped the ‘reasonable consequences’ and that indeed was a bonus.
I hope we all can realise the power and the reality of all the Grace of God has brought us.