A man threatened me.
He was driving a big ass SUV and was dragging a sleek speed boat.
I was out for a run. It was 7 o’clock on a Saturday morning.
The proper thing to do as a runner is to run against the traffic. I was doing the proper thing.
He drove up from behind, swerved into my lane and sped by 3 feet from me. I jumped into the yard 12 inches to my left.
To be fair, the road is narrow. Many times cars have passed me along the same route. It was clear he had purposefully driven that close to me.
The second time was near the end of my run on the same road. He came even closer. I flicked him off. Now that was totally uncalled for but it told me something about myself. When I’m threatened I react angrily.
I began to make up stories about this crazy man. Who thinks it’s funny to scare people? Was it because I’m a woman? Was he stalking me?
My husband, who never shies away from conflict, went to his house and knocked on his door. He wanted to let the guy know he didn’t appreciate that I felt threatened. I have to admit I was too afraid to go along. The guy wasn’t home. Mike tried several other times and finally left a note with his business card. No response.
A few days later my rage mellowed to anger and finally settled on compassion. Any man who is able to own a big car, boat, and house and who tries to run down a pedestrian definitely has problems. I decided to pray for him. My anger towards him wasn’t going to help either him or me.
And then, my compassion settled into logic. He was angry. Yes, it must be anger. Anger comes from hurt. Anger comes from pain. Hurt people hurt people.
And then I thought about the strife in our country. Anger. Hurt. Which is bigger? Which came first?
It doesn’t matter. We need to pray. And we need to have compassion. And we need to understand.
It’s up to each one of us.
Here is a great song to help make the point from the movie Joyful Noise with Queen Latifa. It's worth 4 minutes to be inspired. Man in the Mirror - Sorry about the ending :(
Mike was finally able to find the man at home. He denied any wrongdoing and told Mike to bring me over so he could apologize in person. I'll let you draw your own conclusions.
I'm still praying for his anger to subside.