Every now and then, orbits intersect.

Not interstellar orbits, but human ones. 

Every now and then we are brought into contact with people whose lives we would never know of.  We’d never see their faces in a crowd.  Never hear their voices or pause to wonder where they live, who they love, and what keeps them going. 

Car accidents are one opportunity for these sorts of intersections.  Not the sort of thing we’d choose.  Then again, most people spend a good deal of their time trying to avoid these sorts of random intersections.  We prefer our cocoons unshaken.  Our carefully constructed realities are rarely resolute enough to handle the sudden influx of another person’s reality. 

My wife and children were in a car accident the other day.  They’re ok – everyone involved in the accident is ok, thankfully.  But for the span of a couple of hours, we were up against people we’d never known, would have never known if they hadn’t hit our car and brought our lives into contact. 

Our car was pretty much totalled.  Being a one-car family, that makes for a huge inconvenience.  Our insurance company has been predictably unhelpful and unsympathetic, despite the fact that we aren’t at fault.  The insurance company of the woman who hit us has been much more polite and responsive, truth be told.  Not that it means much – nobody is willing to pay for a rental car for the next week as we wait for the adjustor’s decision. 

We can adjust.  I can take the bus.  We can borrow our neighbor’s car.  God is good.  But I can’t stop thinking about the woman who hit us.  A young woman – how young I can never say for sure.  17?  25?  Young.  Mournful.  She had just purchased the car.  Now it was demolished.  Her insurance rates would go through the roof.  Probably beyond her ability to pay.  She lived on the other side of the river, out of state.  How will she get to work now?  How difficult will her life be now – and for several years to come – all because she wasn’t able to hit the brakes fast enough? 

God is good.  My family is safe.  While we’re barely scraping by, we know we’ll be ok.  It’s easy for us to give thanks for our safety instead of being consumed with worry about how we’re going to make ends meet.  But I don’t know that about the woman who hit is.  I don’t know if she can see the big picture as readily.  Or if her picture actually just shrank down because of the difficult situation she finds herself in now.

Lord, be with her.  Bless her.  Hold her.  Open her eyes to the beauty of life in you.  Give her peace and assurance that she will find a way.  That you have made The Way.  Thank you that you kept her safe as well as my family.  And someday, whether in this world or yours, I pray we’ll have the opportunity to sit and talk and share about this intersection of our worlds.

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