A few days ago, I was rushing to make it to my Community Bible Study on time — a half hour drive from my house. We were meeting 15 minutes earlier that day to have breakfast and a social time together. I was planning to stop on the way for my fav Starbucks decaf drink since they will only have regular coffee available at the church. Being rush hour, traffic was heavy, but I am deft at moving in and out of lanes to achieve my goals. Pretty red, white, and blue lights were flashing in my rearview mirror. With no place to pull off the busy thoroughfare, I had to drive close to half a mile to find a parking lot to pull into. I found it interesting that the woman ahead of me pulled into the small parking lot as well. She must have felt guilty. But Officer Wood was not chasing her today.
As soon as he came to my window, I said jokingly, “I can’t believe you are ruining my morning as I will now miss buying my Starbucks before making it to my meeting.”
“Mam, you were going 15 miles over the speed limit.”
I boldly and cheerfully stated, “I know that. I am in a hurry.” I gave him the required documents. Fortunately, he did not take his merry old time as some do, but returned speedily. I said, “You know, I am old enough to be your mother! You should be nice to me.”
“I am aware of that.” (Arrgh! I can’t believe he was so cruel! Ha!) “It is my job to keep everyone safe on the roads.”
I replied, “I’m a safe driver! I’ve never had an accident.”
He gave me the spiel about not losing points by taking a driving test or deferring to good driving for 90 days, and how to contest the ticket.
I told him I deserve it, as I speed often. He said I shouldn’t tell him that.
As he was leaving, I repeated my sadness at missing out on my Starbucks (which I didn’t really. I just arrived very late!). I heard him say as he walked away, “I can’t afford a Starbucks.”
My heart skipped a beat! How sad is that that one of our finest cannot afford a Starbucks. On the other hand, he is being prudent with his money as he probably has a wife and children at home.
At our social time, we were to come prepared to share a recent answer to prayer and to tell something quirky about ourselves. My behavior and conversation with police, border agents, and TSA agents usually falls into the quirky category.
I am reading Ann Voskamp’s newest book, “The Greatest Gift; unwrapping the full story of Christmas,” an advent devotional book. That day’s reading was from Genesis 12:2 – “I will bless you . . . And you will be a blessing to others.” God has promised to not burden or break us, but to bless us. Once we have received blessings from God, we can share our blessings with others. Each day, Ann makes available to her readers a printable ornament to hang on a “Jesse” tree (because Jesus came from the line of Jesse, the father of King David). Then she gives us some brain exercises about the topic of the day and sometimes a suggested activity. This day she wrote, “What are some ways you can be a blessing to others?” I knew exactly what I was going to do! I determined to buy a Starbucks gift card, place it in a Christmas card on which I wrote, “Thank you for slowing me down. Enjoy a Starbucks!”
Today I went to the city hall, found the window to pay for my ticket, then went upstairs to the Police Department. I asked the gentleman at the window if Officer Wood was available. He checked the schedule and told me he was out on duty. I told him my story about being stopped when I was rushing. I also mentioned the part about me being old enough to be his mother, so he should be easy on me. He laughed about that and said the police department is now made up of old men like him and the young ones who are just starting out. I handed him the envelope saying, “I wanted to thank Officer Wood for slowing me down and to wish him a Merry Christmas.” He assured me Officer Wood would receive it.
Unfortunately, I neglected to enclose a business card with my blog link so that he could have read this story!