Alright – here’s the story. It’s so cool what God can do.
(For Context) – This year, I’ve had car troubles. My catalytic converter was stolen; also had to replace some parts. It’s been a tough year for my trusty steed. Also, I love having surprisingly easy-to-start conversations about Jesus or just talking about things that matter with people, but I haven’t been able to have many conversations for a bit.
So, on 2/20, I prayed that I could have a divine appointment. Just have one conversation or talk with someone that God wanted me to talk with or serve or love, etc. I was looking forward to catching up with a friend for lunch (he had President’s Day off, and I could meet him during my lunch break). So, the time came, and I left work. As I was driving […], I passed through an intersection. There was a car turning left, but I passed in the straight lane. Then as I was going through the intersection, I felt a loud bump. The car that had wanted to turn left had decided not to turn left but try to go into the lane over and go straight. Unfortunately, my car was occupying that space.
I stopped (cause that’s what you’re supposed to do, right?), and got out of my car to stand on the median and see who was this person. I will admit – I was pretty upset and mad. Especially with my car trouble. Then, I found out I hadn’t been hit by just anyone. I had been hit by a French man! Like from France, who was in a rental car and didn’t know about insurance or anything and didn’t really think he was at fault. We had a very tense conversation. I tried to explain that insurance would pay, but he didn’t know what insurance was. I said it’s like health insurance, only to realize that was a terrible analogy because France has socialized medicine. He was also really young (23) and explained he had just moved to Dallas and America for a job. He tried calling his parents in France, but wasn’t able to reach them. I was thinking – do I call the police to get an incident report? He thought the police would arrest him. Like, I said – tensions were high and were not communicating well.
[The man] asked if we could get out of the street, and go to a parking lot. I agreed. As I was driving, I had a thought – would Jesus really be haggling over fault? No – He would probably just love [him], see him as just a young kid who had his first accident, and as an alien in a new country. And, I was now 20 minutes late for lunch. I told [him] if he could just let me have pictures of his license and insurance, I would think about whether I would contact his insurance. We traded phone numbers just in case. I felt decent about myself – I had been mad, but had cooled down, and had wished him well.
Well, let’s just say you don’t easily forget when a red Chevy equinox driven by a bona fide Frenchman hits your car – it’s just so unusual. I kept thinking, “That was weird.” What are the odds. And, then God reminded me that I had prayed for a divine appointment (evidently, I hadn’t prayed for protection for my car – so be careful what you pray for).
I reached out to a friend at Northwest. “I think I was meant to meet [him] for a reason, but what do I say?” – I asked. [My friend] said, well, if it’s a divine appointment, just offer to meet and invite him to church. If he takes it, then it was a divine appointment. If not, then it wasn’t.
So, I did. I texted [him] that I had thought about it and I wasn’t going to contact his insurance or ask him to fix (I had to wrestle with forgiveness on that). Then I said that I imagine it must be pretty lonely to be in a foreign country, and that if he was open to it, he was welcome to come and visit church – it is a great way to meet nice people. Almost immediately, I got a text back. He thanked me for forgiving him and said that he would love to come to church, that he had been to one in France and that it was lonely in the US.
That Sunday, true to his word, [he] did come to Northwest. He really enjoyed meeting everyone and seeing so many people worship at church (his main takeaway is that he had never seen a church so full). I introduced him to young adults in our body (we all sit together in the back left). And, credit is due – [lots of my friends] all took great interest in him. I had mentioned to all my friends the story of what had happened, and people were asking me (whispering) “Is this the Frenchman”. And, I would say, “Yes!”
[This new friend] has come back to Northwest several times and has joined us for lunch (we go out for lunch every 2nd and 4th Sunday). I’m not sure where things are going or even his story yet (just know he has a background in church in France and has been around evangelical worship music based off some comments on our worship songs). But, he is so excited when he comes and is getting to know people. And folks here are doing a great job on welcoming him to the community. This is not just my story, it’s a story that involves God orchestrating so much and using many good friends at Northwest to love and welcome a stranger into our midst.
That said, God will do things if you pray that He won’t if you don’t. I’m glad I prayed for a divine appointment, and that He gave me one. Might have been nice if it hadn’t involved hitting my car though, but I’m not fixing it right now. Now, I can see the red scratch on my car and have an Ebenezer.
Thanks for reading my story.