I love outdoor holiday decorations. The beautiful colors and variety always make things festive and more jolly. Unfortunately these lights were a different kind of red light. I was stuck in traffic, at a dead stop on the highway driving home in the rain. The red lights were all the other cars waiting for the rescue vehicles to finish their vital job. I turned off the windshield wipers and thought about the meaning of red lights.
Red means stop, red means love, red means danger, red means passion. As I sat and thought about the people’s who’s lives were drastically impacted by whatever the accident was, I thought that this Christmas would be a totally different one for their families. Red lights for them meant life, survival, crisis and rescue and a healthy recovery. I prayed that everyone was ok and that they would be able to be home and with those they love. For this night would be one they would never forget.
As I waited for traffic to disperse I thought about the people who were all sitting in their cars waiting to get through the mess. Some were most likely tired, annoyed, frustrated and maybe even late to an important appointment. Some like me may have been reminded that life has no guarantees, tomorrow is not anything any of us are promised. Maybe they too were thinking about the meaning in their lives, those they love, who they wanted to hug when they got home.
I also thought about the trained professionals who were providing life changing service to those in need on this awful night. What a blessing they provide, not knowing each morning who will be their next ‘customer’. To them a red light means move quickly, get there fast, control the crowds, get the job done and get all the people to safety. The more red lights they see the busier their day will become.
Such different perspectives on red lights, every one of them an important reminder that you never really know what the people in your world are experiencing. It is humbling and encourages me to think compassion and praise before I get annoyed by my own circumstances.