The physical laws of momentum are easily forgotten, at least until you watch one car with too much momentum slam into the rear of another. The scene has an unearthly feel to it. If you catch it right, you can see it unfold well before either or both parties know what is happening. It is as if the gap between attacker and victim has a life of its own! As it rapidly morphs into nothingness, the early silence is only broken when one drivers realizes the danger and slams on the brakes. As the isolated scream of the tires alerts the victims, there is a brief moment where everyone in the lead car stiffens up. The clash, violence, and slamming action are a realization of a terrible nightmare. In the echo that never comes, earth seems to go silent in compassionate respect. In the chaos that follows, momentum quietly slips away.
As I watched the wreck unfold, I found myself pessimistically anticipating the pain and anguish that comes when dreams end. It is almost inevitable! I know momentum will win the day. I easily anticipate momentum’s power, control, and destructive ability. As I turn to anyone willing to share my anguish, I discover a gentle Spirit reminding me of the enemy’s vulnerability. “Life is not a foregone conclusion. Your choices matter. Good can confront evil. Compassionate kindness is more powerful than justice.”
As I close my eyes, anticipating the mass of steel travelling without care reaching out to destroy the lives of the innocent. I know that outcome. I find myself sinking into a pool of inevitable despair. I can no longer see how any force can prevent. I forget how powerful community can be. It is in these moments that the Spirit whispers. “Your builders are faster than your wreckers. The demolition crews are gone for good.” (Isaiah 49.17) When love acts, destruction wants to run. When people reach out to each other, communities fight against greed and selfishness. When people build towards a better future, Hope is born. Life is more than car wrecks.
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