Grace is a word I had some resistance to for a long time. I associated it with the line from the song, “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.” Saving, wretch, all that stuff does not compute with me. But some time ago I had an experience of grace, when I was one of the first on the scene of an accident on my way to church one Sunday morning.

A woman had been knocked down by a car whilst trying to cross the road. She was lying face down on the tarmac. Her shoes and glasses had come off and were lying either side of her. The young woman who had been driving the car was sobbing uncontrollably. A young man was phoning an ambulance. A woman was yelling for help.

The woman yelling for help and I talked to the woman who had been knocked down and ascertained that the car had hit her arm, and she had banged her head falling, but was otherwise unhurt. We managed to get a scarf under her face, very gently, to make her more comfortable. It was raining so I put my umbrella up over her head. I picked up her shoes and glasses, and put them in her handbag.

Other passers-by began stopping to help. Someone found a blanket in the boot of their car to cover her. Someone else turned out to be a counsellor, who began comforting the driver of the car. Two other passers-by turned out to be doctors, who took charge while we waited for the ambulance. When I returned home from church I had a flash of clarity. Grace was at work that morning at the crossroads. In the words of the song, I “was blind, but now I see.”

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