I wrote a blog post about trauma and triggers – if you missed it and want to catch up, it’s here.
It’s been a hot minute since I’ve written – not for lack of things I want to say – but I start, delete. Start, delete.
Triggers for trauma are not always obvious, but this post from David is a pretty black and white one. I woke up one morning a couple of weeks ago and several of you had shared his story with me after he auditioned for American Idol the night before. (Side note – people still watch American Idol?) You can read about his accident here, but in summary he also got hit on his bicycle in Nashville. While our stories start the same way, there are major differences. For starters, he was injured far worse than I was, and his driver stuck around. But the main difference in our stories is the immense grace he has. He has not only forgiven his driver – but befriended her. This is her pictured between him and his new wife at their recent wedding.
Whew – talk about Jesus doing WERK.
I like this definition of grace:
Coming off Easter Weekend I’ve thought a lot about His unwavering grace and the infiniteness of it. I have been using a phrase for the past 9 months or so – talking to those closest to me about how I’m trying to love more like Jesus. More patience, humility, kindness, more being present and real. More grace. One of the friends who sent me David’s story caught me on a particularly triggered day and I told her, “He (David) is a better person than me. I hope (and know he will) the person who hit me rots in hell.” Wow – sounds just like something Jesus would say. So far, really winning at this “love like Jesus” thing.
As I sat in church on Easter Sunday thinking about forgiveness and grace – I wondered, if it’s easier to forgive if people ask for it. This girl who hit David was so remorseful –so miserable and wallowing in her guilt and grief over paralyzing and almost killing this young man. The guy who hit me looked at me in court – almost through me instead of at me – like his cocaine-riddled brain couldn’t compute who this girl in a wheelchair in court was to him. Then he looked away. Is he sorry? Does he care if I have forgiven him? Does he even have that capacity? I don’t know. Or was this just a thing that happened to him on a Friday afternoon in October that put him in jail, again? Maybe.
I can be heard in early interviews with the media right after the accident saying that I wasn’t too worried about the person who hit me. I couldn’t spend time on him. He was clearly a sad sack who doesn’t have enough of a conscience to stick around and see if he had just killed me. I was just worried about healing. But the thing about our bodies is they are so resilient – they do heal. Minds though…hearts…they heal too, but I’m convinced at a much slower pace than bones and skin.
Forgiveness is tough when nobody’s asking for it. To give something so freely when you don’t know if he even wants it or gives a crap about it. But the thing about loving like Jesus is you do it anyways – when it’s not deserved and not asked for.
My grace for Ricky is admittedly a work in progress. I’m somewhere around here.
And that’s OK too – see aforementioned post about the Ugly Parts. The Ugly Parts are so real.