Join me on BlogTalkRadio 3:30-4:30 p.m. Eastern Time U.S., Thursday, July 3.
As a runner, I have experienced bad behavior at the hands of passing motorists, rare though it may be. I’ve heard similar stories from others on foot, on bicycles and motorcycles, wheelchairs and walkers.
I’ve had a bottle thrown at me, exploding glass on the curb next to my bare legs. I once had to jump on a car hood to prevent its bumper from smashing my legs as its owner rolled around a corner through a red light without stopping or looking. I’ve had crushed ice thrown at me from a passing school bus, which doesn’t sound like much until you experience the velocity of sharp speeding shards of ice on your bare skin.
The occasional shout for directions can cause a pratfalling distraction but is not scary like the taunts from passing drivers. Several times I’ve had a carload of adolescent boys threaten me verbally in passing or menacingly drive towards me in their car, once doubling back after shouting “Faggots get off the road!” (I was actually on the sidewalk, and wearing nothing to designate my sexual orientation.)
What brings all this to mind is that twice in recent weeks, I’ve had motorists scare the bejeebies out of me by unnecessarily blaring their horns rather than giving a precautionary tap. It’s not like I wear earphones. And in each case there was no reason for even a cautionary tap. Better yet, if they were so concerned, they might have slowed down to the posted speed limit.
Runners are not equipped with horns but most of us have a middle finger.
That was my only defense, my only available “hammer of justice,” but in the first case, the driver was long gone and in the second case, I painfully twisted my shoulder to give the desired indication of displeasure in the driver’s direction.
I immediately thought of the disclaimer, “This is going to hurt me more than it does you.” I experienced this in a very literal way, my shoulder sore for the rest of the day.
“Vengeance is mine,” says the Lord. There’s a practical reason for such advice.
During a talent show on a retreat I heard a masterful, humorous re-telling of an unfortunate children’s sermon. An older woman had decided to teach the children about thimble fingers, which for her was a middle finger. She urged the children to stick their middle fingers into the air, and though they hesitated, one boy absolutely refusing, she then said, “This is the way you can remind people to look up to God.”
I doubt very much that the driver saw my finger as a sign to look up to God!
But I did, remembering this story while finishing my run.
Other posts on running:
Progressive Christian Reflections is an authorized Emerging Ministry of MCC.
You are its sole source of financial support. Please click here to make a tax-deductible contribution. Perhaps your congregation might include it in your mission budget. Thank you!
You are encouraged to use a post or quotes in personal reflection, worship, newsletters, and classes, referencing the blog address when possible: http://chrisglaser.blogspot.com. Check out past posts in the right rail on the blogsite, catalogued by year and month. For specific topics, use the search feature in the upper left corner of the site.
Copyright © 2014 by Chris R. Glaser. Permission granted for non-profit use with attribution of author and blogsite. Other rights reserved.