swerve and turn back (7.12 am)

just this morning a sedan ahead suddenly swerved to the left coming within inches of another vehicle in the next lane.  within seconds the suv directly behind did the same…a sharp, seemingly for no reason jerk of the wheel before righting itself quickly.  i was startled and suddenly hyper aware of the road and my surroundings…

then i saw the cause.

this tiny comet made of fur and muscle and at the moment–panic…hurtled itself on to the sidewalk and my heart jumped with fear and relief.

my foot hovered over the brake pedal.  ready for the chihuahua’s sudden return to the road, and preparing to stop…to pull over…

to help…to set aside my destination to step into a rescue operation.

injury or death feels imminent when i see a frightened dog crisscrossing an intersection.  careening down the sidewalk i can imagine everything about its circumstances… the unexpected, unfamiliar movement, sights, and sounds…all huger than life in that moment.

and i am compelled to turn back…to do what i can until the dog is where it belongs….safe and sound…home.

sometimes my reaction to people in difficulty is to swerve…to avoid the collision of need or hurt or brokenness with my safe, sound life. 

maybe because i understand that to be a part of the rescue will require:




setting aside my destination.

so i swerve.  and then i turn back. 

sometimes immediately–without thought, my heart’s door swinging open automatically.

and sometimes, i drive on for a little while–thinking “someone’s got this”.

then turning back…because i have been rescued.   because this one might be mine to get.  

“…a man was going down from jerusalem to jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. they stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead…but a samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him….”  (luke 10:25-37 (NIV)


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