I’ve learned to cherish pink fingertips, that’s all there is to it! But, I’m sure you’re wondering what on earth I’m talking about. Let me explain …
Two weeks ago, Dana and I left for Washington, DC to be with Andrew while he had surgery. We packed up the car, got little Ethan all settled in (he’s not fond of the car seat), got our maps and backed out of the driveway.
Only 427 miles to go … we were on our way.
We got down the road about six miles and I realized my foot was a bit heavy on the accelerator; I commented to Dana and immediately backed off to slow down just as I noticed a Highway Patrol car coming over the rise ahead. My stomach sunk. I knew … I just knew I got caught. I watched as the car passed me, the brake lights came on while the patrolwoman did a u-turn right past me, blue lights began flashing. I pulled over …
“Ma’am, may I have your license, registration, and proof of insurance? You were doing 65 in a 55.”
Of course, I was rattled. I fumbled around finding all the documentation and handed it to the patrolwoman with a smile. I knew I was wrong—no excuses here! When done, I thanked her and told her to have a nice day and apologized for not paying closer attention. She smiled and said it happens to everyone from time to time.
Only 421 miles to go … we were on our way—again!
I debated whether I should call my husband or not. Nope! I wanted to tell him in person since news like that over the phone isn’t always the best. After all, it was only a silly speeding ticket and he got one a few months back for going faster than me. His ticket was more expensive, so I felt somewhat justified. [ha ha]
We went on our trip and I mostly did better with my heavy foot. There were a couple times I thought I got caught again, but there were people around me with heavier foots! Again, I felt somewhat justified.
We had a wonderful trip and Andrew’s surgery went better than expected. We made it home the following week with a little blue slip in my purse. I set aside some money from the trip to pay my ticket before the court date—there was no sense in appearing in court since I was guilty and fully admitted it to the patrolwoman. Days passed and it remained in the back of my mind to go pay the ticket. But for some reason, I thought I remembered the patrolwoman telling me the court date was September 29th so I never checked.
Yesterday, I was cleaning up the kitchen and had that unmistakable nudge from the Lord … Go check the date on the ticket!
I remember answering audibly, “Ok, yes Sir!”
So, I walked over to my purse and unfolded the dreaded blue slip only to find the court date had already passed and I was in contempt of court. I panicked! What am I going to do? How will I explain this? How much will the penalties and court costs be? How can we afford it? Is there a bench warrant out for my arrest? Will they take me into custody and fingerprint me? Will I have a police record now?
Well, you can imagine how all these thoughts were bombarding me. Ron was at work; Dana was working in the living room. I told her about the situation and we both agreed to just be truthful and explain that I had the dates mixed up and pray for leniency.
I cautiously drove to City Hall (I couldn’t afford to get stopped knowing there may be a bench warrant out for my arrest). As I arrived, I noticed my friend’s van was there—she was working. Praise the Lord! So I parked and went on in and caught her attention. When she came out I had to fight back tears while telling her my story. “What’s going to happen to me? Am I going to be arrested?”
She explained that it was no big deal and I wasn’t in any trouble; the court here gives plenty of time for people to come in to pay their tickets. We walked to the desk and handed the clerk my ticket and cash, and before I could say thank her, I had a receipt in hand.
Praise the Lord! I mean, really … PRAISE THE LORD!
On the way out, I looked at my hands … my fingertips were still pink and not stained by ink from fingerprinting. I deserved so much worse. I was wrong. I broke the law and then I was late in paying my fine. I deserved the stain that comes from sin, but my hands were clean.
Suddenly, I stopped and thanked the Lord for His mercy and forgiveness and cleansing. I so deserve to bear the stain of my own sin. But I stand before Him clean—not only with pink fingertips but my heart is cleansed by Jesus’ righteous blood that was shed for me.
“Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” (Mark 1:41)
© 2008 Jan Ross
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