Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Gawking and Perfect Timing

My family headed off in several different directions this morning. Dave and Wes to mow lawns. Trevor went to work, today for a torch run as a Special Olympics coach. Between my work appointments I stopped by AAA to pick up some maps in Perrysburg.

It's located in a strip mall next to a Churchill's grocery, where from a distance I could see at least eight police and emergency vehicles with their lights flashing amidst a big crowd of people. An ambulance was coming from another direction, sirens screaming.

My mind went everywhere with this. What in the world is going on? Surely, there was some awful emergency situation. My heart began to beat faster. I was suddenly more alert.

I try not to gawk in these instances. It slows down the solving of most problems and it's rather redneck I hear. I want to be helpful and by no means do I want to look, you know, conspicuous.

So as I got closer I tried to be discreet (i.e. keep the redneck on the inside) while noticing that there were also several motorcycles with riders in all black. Hells Angels?

Keep driving. Don't get in the way on the way to AAA, I tell myself. I parked close enough to see but far enough - oh whatever.

Now I see bicyclists, several of them! A run-in between Hells Angels and super fit cyclists? Ooo, this could be interesting. A rumble of sorts? Stop gawking. But I see no gurney. No one down. No one scrambling.

I use my maximum peripheral view as I walk with calculation to AAA. I need maps, honest I do. I'm not a gawker.

Then I notice a group of people with Downs Syndrome in the mix of the crowd and my crazy concocted rumble speculation is no longer calculating in my fantastical mind.

A light shines on my dark speculation.

Special Olympics. Torch run. Trevor?

With these new thoughts, now I'm gawking. Total intentional gawking, and the first person I see in the crowd is Trevor. He's taking pictures of the kids he coaches and families are gathered around in a wonderful warm cloud of encouraging spirit that wasn't visible from the road. The students were so excited to be a part of the event. Their families could easily be picked out in the crowd, beaming as the group posed for photos.

Trevor looked over at me in surprise. He introduced me to work friends I had heard about and grinned at my story of the chance meeting. Really, what are the chances?

To get to take in this scene made my heart want to burst, and I was so proud of him, watching him in this work environment. I watched the torch run procession go through the parking lot. Some Special Olympics participants only walked the parking lot and then headed happily with their families to their vehicles.

I uncharacteristically waited patiently for them to file in front of me into the traffic on Route 25 with an abundance of uniformed guardians, all looking very proud.

My words can't describe the beauty in these moments, I was caught up.

Contrast that to a woman arriving at Churchill's asking if I knew what was going on. Once informed she sneered, "How stupid! I thought there was really an emergency. Men!"

I just laughed not knowing how to interpret the many issues possibly in that statement. But I am glad I chose to see the beauty in it.

What an unexpected case of perfect timing. It felt like a gift. Like God was showing me that He has impeccable timing and He knows when I could stand to see it with my own eyes every now and then.


  1. That was wonderful! brought tears to my eyes. and don't worry we all do the 'redneck' thing! i think it's in all of us, even if we don't want to admit it! lol

    1. Hi Sarah, I am sorry I am just now realizing there are many comments from my blog that I did not know were there! I'm glad you enjoyed this story. I relived it in the rereading and enjoyed that! Thanks for your comment. God bless!