A Merry Christmas kindness

OK, I’ve seen yet once again that the Lord is merciful. I received a Merry Christmas kindness today and am very grateful.

I was late getting to a performance this morning. I had my kids in the car. I’m trying not to freak. I’m trying to be a good mommy (read: patient). I’m telling them a story, mostly focused on “getting there” but trying to be light-hearted.

Suddenly I notice a police car not 24 inches from my bumper behind me.

“Hmmmm,” I muse, “this is strange. He must be in a hurry.”

I change lanes to let this public servant go to wherever he needs to, since he’s in an apparent hurry. Surprisingly he immediately switches lanes and continues to hover quite close to my car. Then flashing lights begin to dance in reflective glory in my rearview mirror. I’m being pulled over!

Mind you, I have never been pulled over for speeding. Never. This is a new experience for me. I have worked hard to live with the rule that you do not drive more than six miles over the speed limit, or if in extreme need, not more than nine.

My heart is racing, but my hand motions to my daughter to open the glove compartment. By this time, I’ve pulled off and the office has pulled in behind me. I’m fluttering through the crampled (yes, I’m sure that’s a word somehow) papers my daughter now has handed me from the glove compartment. I’m actually surprised my hands aren’t shaking more.

The office walks up to the car and asks, “Are you on your way to an appointment?”

I’m wondering why that is the first question on his mind. I stutter something unintelligible. He asks again, “Were you on your way to an appointment?”

I vaguely nod. “Yes, actually, I have a performance…and I was late.”

He said, “You must have been because I was behind you for some time and you never slowed down.” He seemed puzzled at this, somewhat bemused.

I was short of breath and short of words. I’m mindful my kids are watching me and him and learning. I want to take responsibility for what I knew I had done…somehow I’d sped enough that this gentleman (and he was very kind) felt the need to pull me over.

“I need your driver’s license, please.”

I hand it to him. As he walks away, I wait and as I wait, I try to fish through all the crumpled glove compartment papers, trying to figure out what it is that people always reach for in their glove compartment in a case like this. I know it’s something, but not being practiced in the fine art of being pulled over, I can’t figure out what paper that would be.

The office finally comes back. I had prayed much during his trip to his car. “You haven’t had any traffic violations in this state. Therefore, I’m letting you off with a warning. Merry Christmas.”

I said, “Officer, I want you to know that I tell my kids all the time that it is individuals like you who work to keep our society safe. Thank you for what you do.”

He nodded and gave me a soft smile. Truly, he was a kind man. And truly my Father in Heaven is most merciful. I received a “warning” today from a police officer to pay more attention to my driving. I feel that my Father had a hand in this experience, and am grateful for His and for the officer’s mercy. Truly, it was a Merry Christmas kindness I received today.

Anyhow, may you, too, drive safely as you go about your holiday activities so that this Christmas can be bright for all involved.

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