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Totaled!  

How to ruin a perfectly sunny morning:

STEP 1: Find yourself snarled in stop-and-go traffic.

STEP 2: Come to a complete stop and wait until...

STEP 3: Another car bumps into yours.

That was us.  In God's kindness, the collision claimed no casualties. The airbags didn't go off, and when we surveyed the damage, it seemed apparent this was a rather minor accident. Thankfully, the other driver was insured, and the fender-bender left our car drivable. No drama, mama.

One month later, we were reminded that things are not always as they appear.  The voice on the other end of the line explained that the insurance company was going to total our nicely maintained minivan.

“No way!” we gasped. 

It turns out the car that hit us was just small enough that upon impact, it slid under our bumper and bent the frame.  The lay-flat seats in the back were not quite flat—because of the bend in the frame.  And the list of problems went on.

The thing is, if all you saw were the mashed tailgate and bumper, you would never believe the vehicle was that bad off. Did I mention it ruined a perfectly sunny morning?

Pondering the prospect of hunting for another car (used cars are now priced at a premium, and dealers have few new ones in stock), a new thought came to me about personal hurt and loss.

What we see in someone else's life as a mere fender bender may well be for them a devastating—even life-defining—moment. Things are not always as they appear. And pain is a mysterious—if not personal—thing.

Upon seeing the (apparent) fender bender a friend has gone through, it's human nature to suggest we genuinely know the pain they feel because—after all—who hasn't been through a fender bender? 

But maybe—just maybe—there’s more to it than meets the eye. Things, after all, are not always as they appear.

Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.

—Colossians 3:12

 

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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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Jon Gauger Media 2016