Dec 3, 2009

Life lesson...

When you really want to help someone, do it - completely.

I learned this yesterday.

It was pouring rain and I was on my way back to work when I saw a man walking along the highway, soaking wet with a backpack on his back and only a light vest. I've often seen the same scene and thought about how I should pull over and offer that person an umbrella (I keep several in my car, don't ask), but I've never done it... it's always just been a thought. I don't know what came over me yesterday, but I had the thought and kept driving. About three miles later, I pulled into a cul-de-sac, got the umbrella from the back, and turned around. It wasn't until this point that I considered he may pull a gun on me, but I decided that was not going to stop me from doing what I'd always thought about doing and was finally about to do... I rolled the window down, holding the umbrella out, and told him I had an extra and would he like it. He declined saying he was almost home and he was "fine." I had a fury of emotion going on for many reasons, 1) I was finally stopping after thinking about it hundreds of times, 2) It was pouring rain and the inside of my car was absolutely soaked by this point, 3) He really could have pulled a gun or knife out...

I was so distracted with emotion, I simply said, "Ok" and turned back around to go to work.

Not even 20 feet down the road, watching him continue to walk in the rain, I couldn't help but think about how I'd totally screwed up helping this person. WHY in the heck did I even ask if he wanted an umbrella, it was POURING rain. Who doesn't want an umbrella? I admit, I was tempted to turn around again and make him take the umbrella, but for sanity's sake, I decided against it.

I'm posting this story because it was a lesson for me. A lesson in learning how to help. I had good intentions, sure - but had I been a little more confident in my wanting him to really HAVE this umbrella, he might would have taken it. I messed up. I did. I did a good thing by asking, but I could have actually DONE something.

Next time...

(Future umbrella ministry??) :)


- B said...

You did do the right thing. Regardless of what you feel and know about yourself, to him you were a person that offered an umbrella. Sometimes we beat ourselves up for not doing something a certain way or at a certain time, but we need to quit being so hard on ourselves. If everyone stopped and offered an umbrella more often, we'd be living in a nicer world. You never know how a small act of kindness might affect someone's day. Kudos to you!

<3 Stormy said...

Thanks so much for hopping over to my blog!
It is nice to meet fellow North Carolinians!

Anonymous said...

Your good intentions fill your heart even if your actions could not bring fruit. Hugs

"Sometimes I'd like to ask God why He allows poverty, famine, and injustice in the world when He could do something about it, but I'm afraid God would ask me the same question."
You don't change the world by trying to change the world; you change the world by changing yourself.
-Gerry Straub