A Merciful God
by Danny Tariman
Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ (Matthew 18:33)
My family & I were traversing a heavy traffic intersection along the National Road in Los Baños. I was driving our car at the outer lane, but a jeepney in front of us stopped to pick up passengers. Noting a chance to safely change our lane, I signaled our car that we are going left, and quickly changed to the inner lane.
Suddenly, the mini-bus from behind crashed into our car! Our car was hit at the left-rear corner of the body!
Immediately, I checked our car to asses the damage. Then I spoke the driver of the mini-bus, but instead of being apologetic, he was so arrogant to point that it was my fault. I said, it cannot be because my car was hit from behind!
Sensing that I cannot settle this alone, I called the police. In few minutes, a police car came, took photos of the accident scene, and accosted us and the mini-bus to the police station.
Inside the police office, the bus driver was still arrogant, insisting that I was wrong. However, the police was on our side: it was the bus which hit our car from behind. Clearly, the driver did not give-in.
The police investigator also noted that his driver’s license was ‘expired’ because of a recent apprehension that he didn’t settle within the required time frame. Thus, he can be jailed.
But then the police officer also noted that he had 3 recent apprehensions, and that he did not settle his last one, which can be reported to the LTO (Land Transportation Office) for a more grave offense. The penalty I hear is a fine of 10,000 pesos!
At this juncture, the driver became meek. His arrogance was slowly melted. And he asked me to forgive him. He cried because according to him, he has a family to feed, and that driving is his only means of livelihood.
Asking him what lessons he learned from this incident, he said he has to be humble and not arrogant, and that he has to observe road courtesy.
Taking it as a cue that he learned his lesson, I told him, with my wife beside me, “We are forgiving you.” I told him further to go to church on Sundays, and ask the Lord for forgiveness.
After this, we were allowed to go.
We were driving a bit slow, and the mini-bus overtook us. However, in another intersection, we saw the same mini-bus, in another accident. This time it appears it hit a tricycle. Oh my!
Inside of me I was telling myself “I should not have forgiven this driver” because it appears that he really didn’t learn his lesson in our incident.
While this thought was entering my mind, the Lord spoke to my heart “I have forgiven you too, despite repeating the same sin. You should forgive him.”
As this Bible says “So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.” (Matthew 18:35)
Thank You Lord for being a merciful God! Thank You too for giving me the grace to forgive.