By Susan Klemond
Have you ever felt you were in the wrong place at the wrong time?
While taking a walk my neighborhood one evening this summer, I waited at the edge of a street for a break in the traffic so I could cross.
Since I was standing on a spot that was designated for crossing but wasn’t an official crosswalk, I wasn’t expecting anyone to stop for me. One driver did, though.
Unfortunately, a young man in the car behind him didn’t see this Good Samaritan’s brake lights and crashed into the stopped car, causing great damage to both vehicles. Thankfully no one was seriously injured.
I watched this terrible event occur in seconds. I hadn’t even stepped off the curb.
In the weeks that followed I wrestled with the fact that the accident wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t decided to go for a walk.
I was reminded of another time six years earlier when I’d felt this way, though the outcome for me then was worse. A truck hit me and broke my leg—and that time I was in the crosswalk.
As much as I wished I could have avoided these situations and not disrupted lives, I have to believe God has brought good out of all this. For one thing, I wouldn’t have prayed for any of those drivers if our paths hadn’t crossed.
As Romans 8:28 says: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Voices in the environmental movement say that the world would be better off if humans weren’t in it. And some celebrities have vowed to forego having children to avoid harming to the planet.
I believe God meant for us to be here on earth, even if we sometimes wreck things and don’t take care of the environment as well as we could.
He loves us as part of his creation. From today’s first reading in Wisdom: “For you love all things that are and loathe nothing that you have made. … And how could a thing remain, unless you willed it; or be preserved, had it not been called forth by you?”
Even though the events of life can seem painful or senseless, we can find comfort in knowing God is transforming us through them. As St. Paul writes in the second reading from Thessalonians: “That our God may make you worthy of his calling and powerfully bring to fulfillment every good purpose and every effort of faith.”
God loved the world so much that he gave us his Son. Jesus wasn’t born in the wrong place or the wrong time, though maybe if he hadn’t left a carbon footprint, a tree might have been saved.
Of course we should save trees as we care for creation, but I am thankful that Our Lord chose to give his life on a tree to save us.
About the author:
Susan Klemond is a Minnesota writer who loves delving into faith, Church, vocations, family and life issues for articles she writes in Catholic publications. She especially enjoys interviewing inspiring people of all backgrounds for her stories. When she’s not writing she’s usually cooking, reading or gardening.
I have been hit by a car as a pedestrian, crossing the street at the green light in fact, and so I also know the feelings and hurt you’re referring to firsthand. I especially loved your last line!!!! How awesome to think about our Lord saving us on that tree and how we, too, can do our part to save trees. Thank you!
Wow Gwen, how traumatic. Thank you for sharing your story and your insights. I agree that last line is very powerful.
Thank you, Gwen, for your feedback about my post. I’m sorry you also had the experience of being hit by a car. My experiences have made me a more vigilant pedestrian and more careful about watching for pedestrians when I’m driving.
Love the last sentence of this. My musings on coincidences and incidences which encourage my prayers and offerings for others are often like yours. Great reflection! Thank you.
Ahhhh Godcidences, one of my favorite aspects of our loving God… it is remarkable how, when we are attentive, he directs our paths!!
All I can say – thank you for this reflection.
Yes. Agree. Well said 😉
I am a voice in the environment and I say that this is mus spoken here. God gave us this planet and everything on it in Genesis. we are the caretakers God made the planet FOR us and we are to take care of it. This is a task that we seem to have seem for gotten about. We just assumed that since God gave us his only Son for us to have the CHANCE for eternal life everything was going to have it as well. It has only been in the last several generations when man invented things that such as plastic that went beyond the normal time and structure, that we started hurting the planet as a planet as well as other Gods creatures as well as ourselves. God is still here. We all have the tools to save the planet ans well as ourselves from the final destruction. People dont believe that can happen . But if we we really were not going to destroy our selves by our words and actions, why7 did God need to send his Beloved son to us in the first place? Have a blessed day!
An interesting reflection on Susan’s blog Allison, thank you for sharing, gave me a lot to think about this morning.
Thank you for your thoughtful response. I agree with you that we have sometimes failed in our responsibility as stewards of the planet. With some of the ways we’ve tried to improve our lives, such as the invention of plastics, we’ve done and continue to do harm. I would add that when plastics were invented, I don’t think many people realized the effect they would have. I think the same might be true about some of our more recent innovations–we don’t know yet how they will affect the environment and ourselves. Now we know the problems with plastics but they are so widely used it’s difficult to change our ways.
What I do believe in is the power of human ingenuity and the fact that many are using their God-given intelligence to develop solutions to help humans more carefully co-exist with creation.
My post was not meant as a criticism of efforts to save the environment. Rather I was trying to defend our place in it. God made us the crown of his creation, not interlopers who have only been ruining a pristine planet. He did make us responsible, and we have not taken that responsibility as seriously as we should. We have made many mistakes and harmed the earth–and I would argue not just in recent generations. I believe we absolutely need to restore and protect the earth–starting with our own lives. Ultimately we are meant to be here–caring for creation is part of our main duties of loving God and our neighbor.
This would be a good conversation to continue. God bless!