I got pulled over by a Sheriff this morning as I was driving to the gym.
“Oh great,” I thought, “I am going to be late and she’s going to take my treadmill.” I quickly began assessing things.
“I know I wasn’t speeding.” I couldn’t figure it out.
Behind me, red and blue lights colored the black early dawn and an intense, white, bright light aimed at me like a gun. I reached for my wallet, readied my license. The officer appeared suddenly from within the light.
“Morning,” I said.
“I stopped you because you have a headlight out.”
This was news to me. Good thing I’m on Spring Break. I got time to fix it.
“Can I see your registration and insurance?”
I grabbed the documents from the glove compartment and handed them to him. After about a minute he handed them back. But he kept my license and said
“Wait here,” as he walked back to his cruiser.
“This is too much for six in the morning,” I said. And then I started thinking, so what is this guy going to do with my license? I’m assuming he’s going to type my name into a computer to see, what? if there are any warrants for my arrest or if I’m some wanted fugitive, a confidence man, a criminal on the lam. I wasn’t nervous. He’ll come back, give me a warning, wish me a nice day, that’s it. I started thinking about the gym. How far will I run? Six miles, ten. How am I feeling?
Tired. Really tired.
Want to rest the knee.
What will we do with the kids today?
I got baseball practice at 5:00. Forgot.
Tomorrow’s Good Friday.
And then I think.
Mr. Soza, it looks like we have a little more than an issue with a headlight.
My system says that you’re a really bad person. I’m actually quite shocked at some of the things I read. Things in your past.
Well, for example,
Actually, there’s no need.
You’ve told lies.
You’ve been selfish.
You’ve not always honored God or been thankful.
You’ve been chemically dependent.
Your words are less severe. The term is alcoholic.
Not the first time you’ve been in trouble with the law I gather?
It’s not. No. Checkmate.
Shall I go on?
Checkmate, I said.
You should pay for the things you’ve done.
Even the things I’ve not mentioned.
I agree. You know all things. How could I argue who I am when you know who I am.
There is a way.
Yes. Do you see my cruiser back there?
There’s a man in there, a man not of this world with power and authority over everything.
I could use his help.
He is willing to pay for the things you’ve done. He’s willing to make you right.
But I’ve done so much.
Things that ought not to be uttered or thought.
And why would he do this for me?
Because he can. Because he’s good. Because he loves.
What must I do?
The officer returns.
“Mr. Soza, just make sure you take care of that headlight there okay.”
“I will. Thank you.”
“Have a nice day. You’re free to go.”
I am. I am free to go.