When God Works In an Uber Ride
My husband and I have racked up our Uber rides over the years. Stepping into the confines of a small space with a stranger is akin to walking into an adventure for me. Cut off from distractions and absent of any relational history, carried thoughts can include, they don’t know my name, and who would they tell? An Uber ride can bring a level of openness that’s sometimes absent in conversations with those we know.
Furthermore, I’ve found the opportunity to interact with a diverse landscape of people. I’ve had many drivers share intimate struggles, I’ve had a driver try to convert me to Islam, one driver who cried sharing their breakup story, another driver solicit marijuana, I’ve had a driver pray for me, I’ve had conversations of philosophy, religion, politics, and race. And yet of all my Uber experiences, the one that impacted me most was this past summer in Chicago.
My daughter and I plopped ourselves down into our Uber ride and before I could even start the conversation, my daughter asked my typical first questions:
“How are you?” to which she quickly followed with, “How long have you been doing Uber?”
And as I had seen frequently, the polite niceties turned more personal. We quickly found that we shared a common event that summer as he would be attending his 30-year-high school reunion, and me, my 20th. When I found out that 300 out of the 400 classmates were attending his reunion, I was astounded by the large number and asked,
“WOW! Do you have a big planning committee?”
“No, just one guy”, he replied.
“Really? How was he able to get so many people to go? Was he a strong leader/outgoing in high school?” I asked.
“Nope. He was a bully. He was very cruel and mean to others, and he bullied me”.
“What?” I asked, both surprised and intrigued. “How in the world did he get so many people to go to the reunion?”
“Well, he’s changed. In fact, he came up to me at my 10-year reunion, pulled me aside, and asked for my forgiveness. He said he was wrong in high school and was incredibly sorry for the way he had treated me”.
I gasped. My heart flooded with tenderness toward his classmate’s humility. Now I was hooked.
“Wow! What do you think changed him?” I asked.
“Well, I found out he’s a Christian now”, the driver responded.
My eyes welled up with tears, and the hairs on my arm stood up straight. And based on our earlier conversations, I knew my driver did not share this man’s faith, but by the smile on his face and the pleasant way he talked about him…he seemed to at least agree with me that something remarkable had happened.
You see it was remarkable, and I think we might even admit, unexpected.
It’s often comfortable for us and welcomed when God uses our charity to display His goodness, and it can be tenderly comforting when we are able to point others to Him in our pain. But it’s sometimes surprising and uncomfortable when He uses our mistakes.
My Uber driver’s classmate had pulled him (and most likely others) aside 20 years ago, admitting he was cruel and that he was wrong. His willingness to humble Himself and ask for forgiveness reached potentially hundreds of classmates and all the way to me, a woman he would never meet until heaven, during an Uber ride 20 years later. What was once ugly and wretched, a story of bullying, became a story of redemption. A cruel bully turned into a humble servant-leader.
And today, God wants to use the unexpected in our life, the broken, the twisted, the wrongs…for He is the potter, and we are the clay, and “We are all the work of your hand” (Isaiah 64:8). When our works or our heart is marred in His hands, the potter is gently forming and tenderly correcting our wrongs so that, “All things to work together for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). We are most secure when we are confidently resting in our Maker’s hand, humbly pliable and sure His work in us will be drawn to beautiful completion no matter how the work began.
So rather than dismay over your mistakes, hide from your wrongs, or turn away from the people that saw you fall, humble yourself and allow God to use these seemingly marred blemishes to continue creating the beautiful masterpiece He has planned of your life before the beginning of time. He loves you, and He is with you in the broken pieces of your life.