We all have one, a car story that is. You’ve either rear-ended someone, hit a pole, backed into a mailbox, got pulled over or hit a bus. Oh wait, that last one is probably just me. Yes, I hit a bus. A big yellow school bus. And yes, there were people in it. And my only defense: I simply didn’t see it!
I know what you’re thinking, how do you not see a big yellow bus? Well I’m here to tell you that it is possible, because that’s what happened to me.
A trifecta of disasters contributed to my school bus fiasco. I was 17 and in a hurry (bad combination). It had been a rough week at school and my mind was a bit distracted (also not good). And lastly, we had two huge trees at the bottom of our driveway, which were impossible to see around (I blame the trees).
I hopped in my red Honda CRV, which I called Pumba. I looked to the left, no bus. I looked to the right no bus. I quickly backed out of my driveway as I always did and then--WHAM--I heard a crashing noise.
I assumed I had hit the trash cans, but I’m pretty sure trash cans can’t drag you down the street. Oh yes, I turned around to discover that Pumba was being yanked down the road by the big yellow school bus.
Not only did I hit the bus, but I happened to get stuck underneath of it, which led to the all too embarrassing trip down my neighborhood street. Eventually the bus stopped. I got out and met the bus driver, who called the schools while I called my mother. To say telling my mom I hit a school bus was an interesting conversation would be an understatement. It went a little something like this, “Hey Mom….soooo I just got in an accident, not with a car or anything. You see I backed into a bus...” My mom responded with a shocked, “What!” and “Don’t move, I’m on my way.”
More people show up to the scene. Now we have the bus driver, the students (who I went to school with), my mother, the police officer and all of my principals (from elementary to high school). There is not a word to describe the emotion I felt when my principals realized that I was the one who hit the bus. You see, in school I was known for getting good grades, being involved and following the rules. Hitting a bus didn’t really fit my student profile. Nevertheless, this was the situation I had landed in. I’ve always said, if it is going to happen it is going to happen me.
Apparently, when you accidentally put a huge scratch in school property there is quite a bit of paperwork and reporting that has to be done, which had to be completed on sight. This meant that my fellow bus riding students were trapped inside the yellow monstrosity for an hour. As I’m sure you can assume this led to very angry teenagers who took their rage out on me. They pointed, laughed, called me stupid, and teased me! Much to their dismay, momma bear came out. She ran over to the bus and pointed right back at them. Telling them that this could have just as easily happened to them (not the best argument, but I appreciated the effort).
Eventually the paperwork was finished, the principals left and the bus driver went on to complete his route. Leaving my mom and I to examine Pumba who now had a huge yellow dent in the back hindering the trunk from opening. All that was left to do was call my dad.
Ring, ring, ring...he picks up and our conversation begins as I explain to my father how I hit a bus. To which he says, “A big yellow school bus.” I reply with an unfortunate yes and, to my surprise, he begins to laugh. In fact, he can’t stop laughing. I slowly began to see the humor in the situation as my dad told me not to worry about it. Mistakes happen.
When I think back on this day, I can’t help but grin. I love telling this story, not only because it’s funny, but because of how my parents reacted. My mom flew into protective mode, while dad offered me grace with a smile (and some cackling on the side). As cheesy as this may sound it reminds me of who God is and how He loves us like a parent loves their child.
In this life people will hurt us, make fun of us and break our heart and when it happens God, like a momma bear, will swoop in to protect us from the hurt. That’s what He does. Psalm 34 tells us:
The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time. For the Lord protects the bones of the righteous; not one of them is broken.
My bus story, though humiliating at the time, is not necessarily the most traumatic story in the world. However, my Mom showed me what God shows me every day. That he wants to protect me from anything that could hurt me. I love the truth found in Psalm 56:
You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. My enemies will retreat when I call to you for help. This I know: God is on my side.
God is for you! He is your biggest cheerleader and number one fan. Hold that truth in your heart and believe it to be so.
Not only is God your biggest fan, but He wants to offer you the best gift you could ever receive and that is the gift of forgiveness. On that oh so tragic day when I hit the big yellow bus, my father could have been mad. He had every right to be upset with me. Every right to make me pay for the damages and punish me for being careless, but instead he offered me grace. Because my dad loved me, he was willing to look past my mistake and offer me free forgiveness (plus, he probably figured the embarrassment was punishment enough).
God wants to offer us grace too. An undeserved gift that comes with so much joy. Ephesians 1:7 states:
He (God) is so rich in kindness and grace that He purchased our freedom with the blood of His Son and forgave our sins.
God is grace and that is good news! There is nothing you can do that God won’t forgive. All you have to do is come to Him and ask. It’s that simple. He is a loving father who wants to give His children grace.
I’m sure my parents had no idea that their second nature parental acts would lead me to reflect on our God and how He loves me like His child. But when you hit a bus, crazy things happen.
This week at Lane of Roses we are talking about finding hope in hopeless situations. Read more here:
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