Within 20 Feet.

Tonight I was on the road leaving Auburn. I had my lights on of course, but in complete darkness they don’t show anything very far ahead. I wasn’t driving past the speed limit, at least not enough to cause concern.

As I was driving I saw a silhouette take form at the edge of my light beams. I thought it looked sort of like a person. A split second later the silhouette became more visible in my headlights and ceased to be a silhouette but a definite image of a person. A real, live, human being standing in the middle of the road. Not walking, not moving, and not waving at me. The person was just standing in the middle of the road. It was as if the person was actually trying to die. I was driving somewhere between 45 and 55 mph and the man was only 20 feet away, if that.

I’ve never stomped on my brakes so hard in all my life. I swerved to the right onto the shoulder as my brakes screeched my Bonneville to a halt. I stopped with my window parallel to the man — if I had not swerved onto the shoulder of the road I would have hit him.

Like I said earlier, this whole event seemed like the person was trying to be hit by a car — so when my car stopped my gut reaction was to jump out of the car and tackle the person off the road and call 911. That may sound overboard but I really thought this was a crazy or drunk person trying to commit suicide and I was going to prevent it if I could. The following events occurred before I ever could tackle the person.

When my car stopped I heard the person yell out in an old man’s voice, “I can’t see at night! I just can’t see!” as he stumbled back into his driveway. An older woman, his wife I assume, went out into the road to pick up the recycling bin that her husband was trying to take to the end of the driveway but had carried all the way out into the road. When I realized what was going on my attitude about the “crazy/drunk” person quickly changed. I immediately changed my perspective and offered any assistance. The woman just told me, “he can’t see well in the night. He just was taking the recycling bin out. We’ll be fine. Go.”

I could tell this was a very stressful moment for them (as it was for me), and probably quite embarrassing as well. I gathered that she really didn’t want me there so I went ahead and drove away.

As I drove off I naturally began thinking of the value of the human life. Not just the life itself, but the life within the life. Let’s not take it for granted. Someday we’ll all be older and unable to see in the dark. Don’t take your life’s life for granted.

God gave you your life – enjoy it.
Worship Him with it.
Thank Him for it.

6 Replies to “Within 20 Feet.”

  1. Do you think that man or his wife really understood that he almost died? It could have been really tragic but he was spared and just walked back into his house. I wonder how many times I have been spared without even knowing how close I came to the end of my life.

  2. I think we do this in other areas of life as well. We see a person appearing to live a crazy life & we assume we know what is going on. This person could be a sinner & we think we know why they do the awful things they do. Or they could be a believer & do crazy things & we do not fully understand why. Without the leading of the Holy Spirit we would be driving down the road without any lights at all. I think God is trying to broaden particular areas in our lives while limiting others. Time for a battery recharging! Energized to be Everyready!

  3. It’s all about perspective isn’t it? So often I have jumped to one conclusion and then been clued in to more of the story and my whole perspective changes. Very good lesson.

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