When You Are ‘Fingered’ Out!


It was a hot summer day several years ago when I was patiently waiting in the left turn lane not too far from my house. I was the last car in the lane so I was not surprised when the light turned green that it took a few seconds for the line to move. However, as I watched all the cars moving and turning the car in front of me sat there as if the light was still red. I waited one, two, three, four, five till it reached about ten seconds or so and it became apparent that the driver of the car in front was either on his phone texting, or perhaps they had fallen asleep. I’m not one to hit my horn; in fact, I can probably count on two hands how many times I have hit my horn in the last twenty years. However, after that amount of time I tapped it so as to make the driver aware that the light had changed. As soon as I did so the brake lights went off and the car sped off just in time to go through the yellow light. I was left rolling up to the front of the line and missed the light.

The bothersome part of the above experience was not that I missed the light due to the negligence of another driver, things like that happen on the road. No, the thing that has stayed with me was as the other car sped away I was saluted out of the sunroof with a ‘finger’ of appreciation for my deed. Now here it is a couple of years later and I am still bothered by it. Why?

Well, for some reason most of us take to heart our interactions with others, and when someone ‘fingers” us out, when our intentions are not bad, it tends to hurt. And so it is that this anonymous driver’s salute is still in my mind.

Fast forward to last week! I was in a merging McDonald’s line when I met up with another driver. Who was there first…I don’t know. But we both smiled at each other and I nodded for her to go ahead of me, which she did. When I came up to the window to pay, the other driver had already paid my bill. I looked at the other driver, who was ahead of me, and waved out the window. I caught her smile in her rearview window. I felt a wave of goodness come over me.

“But a certain Samaritan, as he (was driving), came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him…” (Luke 10:33) I wonder, when we are anonymous behind the wheel, if the Samaritan comes out, or do we like to ‘finger’ other people out!

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