Last night, I was driving home as flurries of snow fell from the sky, and out of nowhere I was pulled over by a cop... for speeding. I had been so entranced with the snow that I hadn't even noticed how fast as I was going. Oblivious. This was my first time being pulled over for something I had done (I was pulled over once for a fix-it ticket when I was 19), and as I saw those blue lights start flashing I said out loud, "Is that for me?" So I pulled over, rolled down my window, and got out my California license and registration - I guess I should finally switch over to a TN license soon - and waited for the officer to approach my car. He informed me that I had been speeding. I won't even say how far over the limit I was going (okay, fine, it was more that 15mph - whoops!), so I knew that I totally deserved a ticket.
Now, I'm not sure if the officer felt sorry for me with my CA plates, my very tired eyes, or if he might have thought I was cute (ha!), but after taking my license and registration and leaving me alone with my thoughts for a few minutes - thoughts such as, "Crap," "I should have gotten one of these a long time ago" (I tend to drive fast), "Okay, how will I balance out my budget to pay for this?" "Maybe I can do traffic school since it's my first offense," and "Lord, thanks for this reminder to slow down" - the officer ended up only giving me a warning... to which I literally and honestly responded, "What?! Are you sure?" The thing is, I was fully ready to take responsibility for what I had done, and yet I received what I did not deserve: grace.
To that police officer, thank you. Thank you, of course, for not giving me my first ticket, but more than that, thank you for being a tangible reminder of the grace that God gives to me each day. I am undeserving, but He is full of mercy.