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When it could have been me


I can't shake the scene. This one from Wednesday night.

How many times have I seen somebody jaywalk across the seven lanes on University Drive? Just a quick dash to the Chevron. Sometimes a kid on a bike. Sometimes a man on foot.

Maybe I even saw it on my drive into Huntsville Wednesday afternoon.

But not on my drive back. Because on the way back, a 63-year-old man never made it all the way across.

And while I didn’t see it happen, I could have.

It could have even been me in the car that hit him.

Just minutes earlier, my lady friends and I had ended our Bible study time at Joe Muggs in Books-a-Million. We made plans for a new meeting place, talked about what to study next, and were saying good-byes. I lingered an extra minute to talk to Kay, but it was cold, so not for long. 

I pulled out onto University. Something was wrong. Too many lights ahead—police, ambulance, fire trucks. The red light at Pulaski Pike stopped me. I pulled up Twitter in the pause: 

BREAKING: Huntsville Police are on the scene of a traffic fatality on University Drive near Pulaski. East bound lanes are being closed.

A fatality. A pedestrian, struck and killed.

So I turned right and avoided it.

Because I could.

Because if I had only left a short conversation earlier, the 63-year-old man—“Pops”—might have run out in front of me, and I might have been driving the car that hit him.

And my life then—like his now—would have been changed forever.

Sometimes I ask, “Why me?”
But sometimes I ask, “Why not me?”

This was the latter. Thank you, God, for sparing me direct involvement in this story. Be with the ones not spared, of the guilt or of a death in the family.

Because it could have been me.
But this time it wasn’t.

* * *

How have you seen God’s grace in your own life lately?


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