I had a strange day today. Arrived at hospital with my wife to learn her surgery had been cancelled due to unavailability of a doctor. New appointment will be sent in the post. A stressful experience for her as she had taken time off work and psyched herself up for an intrusive procedure. Learnt a message had been left on the home phone, and that it is not hospital policy to call a mobile, even though they had that as well, on the basis if you don’t check your home phone you won’t check your mobile.

So note to self, cancel the answering machine on the home phone.

Then arriving in our regular car park in Chichester I had to stop suddenly as a black BMW reversed into a car parking spot. As he was within a whisker of possibly hitting me I moved to reverse when bang, a blue vauxhall zafira was into the back of me or was I into the front of it?

No damage to my car, and we were only moving at around one mile an hour, yet the lady claimed politely I had damaged her car. I gave her my card and insurer, yet received no details in return. Photographed the car and there was a white circular mark on her paintwork driver’s side, just off centre.

Reflecting on this as you do, I later explored my vehicle to discover what might have caused such a mark, and to locate any traces of the blue paint. Nothing!

So then I get a call from her insurers wanting my registration number as I’ve written it down wrong. I refuse, since my insurers say don’t talk to third parties, always refer them to us. My friend gets a pretty aggressive call on my mobile, so he says, from said lady’s husband, who wants to leave his mobile for me to call, and then asks if my friend is me, then puts his wife on who speaks to him as if he is me. He happily gives my registration number. I meanwhile am getting dinner for guests and on hearing the story ring back immediately and give my registration details again.

On asking for her details, she will only disclose her name and says the insurers will deal with it. Great then why call me at all?

And from here it goes weird! Said lovely lady challenges me as not being Christian since I am not laying down and accepting liability for the damage to her car. I am saying, ‘Hey, that’s why we have insurers. They will assess the damage and liability for the damage.’

Since we now live in an age where doubt forever precedes trust and truth, and in an industry beset with abuse of insurance and claims, is it any more Cristian to say yes to the damage than it is to say let’s see if the insurance assessors can agree if the nature of the damage is consistent with the incident reported.

Surely being wise in stewarding resources and managing circumstances is as essential to an appropriate practice of the faith as simply accepting everything is the fault of the Christian.

A strange day, and a stranger common understanding of the reality of Christian practice. Is it the so called Christian that has to carry a set of values perceived and imposed by others who may or may not be Christians? I haven’t created the current insurance claim system that lacks the sophistication to manage the complexity of liability.

Still I guess another chapter of learning the Christian way in a confused and confusing world. Life is forever teaching and I relish the learning at every step.