Grace in Traffic

There were cars ahead of me, beside me, behind me.

None of us were moving. And none of us had been moving for 10, 20 minutes. 

Okay, I'll be a bit late for my 4pm meeting, I thought. 

A little later: I'll be quite late. 

Much later: Well, now I have to reschedule it. 

I was irritated. I felt sorry for myself. This is not what I'd planned for the afternoon. 

Finally, the brake lights went off. Drivers began to tap on the gas. A lane up ahead was closed. The car to my left flipped it's blinker on to merge. Go, I said, flashing my high beams. The car pulled in front of me.

Then this: a little hand came out of the passenger side - the side they knew I could see - and waved at me. 

And irritated, self-pitying, missing-an-important-meeting me was startled by how much this touched me. Who knew a half-second gesture of thanks could bring sweetness into a moment overrun with frustration? 

Bless that little hand. Bless the big heart connected to it. And bless the grace it brought to afternoon traffic. 

For what else but grace could expand the space we're in beyond the pain we're in? 

I drove home, more aware than before that our tiny gestures of thanks are significant. Far beyond the half-second they take to do. 

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Grace, Gratitude, JoyCaitie Whelan