Monday, March 03, 2008
Feb 12 marked 39 years in this world.
Fender bender lessons:
Pro 15:1 A gentle response defuses anger, but a sharp tongue kindles a temper-fire. (The Message)
I was taught this in a wonderful way the other day. So often the foreigners living here are negative about this beautiful place. We have only been here eight months, but we find that we have to fight this temptation fiercely. The following story was a good help in this battle and not only in this one, but as well in my personal battle to be like Jesus. I was "shown up" in a very convicting manner.
Driving in Turkey is always an adventure. Shortly after arriving a friend told us that the one rule of the road is that empty spaces should be filled. We have found this to be true in experience as the lines separating the lanes might as well not be drawn. If there is a space between two cars then another car will surely fill it. I have grown accustomed to this and try to fill any spaces I can in order to fit in (pun intended).
Near our house there is a notorius section in which the road forks and cars stay on the left side for as long as they can and then try to sneak in right at the fork; the cars end up entering in a back and forth scheme. We were coming home last week and were coming to that point (actually we had made a wrong turn or we would have come a different way). The car in front of us from the left went ahead of us and then we were going, however the car behind us got to close and our back bumper scraped their front bumper and pulled it off a little. I was frustrated and was expecting a fight. We stopped our cars and I got out and a lady got out of the other car. Our car is old and can't look worse than it does so I did not even look at the bumper but went straight to the other car. I was thinking about who was at fault, how would I explain anything with my pitiful Turkish skills, would insurance cover it, we did not have the money for this,... and was expecting an angry Turk fighting tooth and nail...
As I approached the car the lady says something to me in Turkish. I responded that I did not understand in Turkish. She then said in perfect English, "Do you speak English?"
"Yes", I replied.
"Do you think you could bend that back and fix the bumper where it came off?"
"I'll try." I bent it back but saw that the I needed an allen wrench, which I did not have, to fully fix it.
At that point a traffic policeman came up and had us move our cars so that the traffic could move freely again. I got back in my car quite surprised and moved up to where he said. We both got out of our cars again as well a witness. They looked at her car and talked a bit, and then said that her car was not scratched, the bumper would be easy to fix, and that we could go with no worries. She smiled and said not to worry about it. I was in shock and did not know what to say. I felt like giving her my information and telling her to call if it turned out to be worse. I got back in our car, told Laurie and the kids what they had said, and we all headed home.
Her unexpected response floored me and proved the verse above true. May I not forget the lesson soon!