“Stranded,” the sign read. Scribbled on a piece of cardboard box, it continued something like this: “food. shelter. Anything will help.” The young woman holding the sign, sitting between a parking lot and the street looked like she had been crying. She looked frightened, like she’d been fighting off wolves. She was desperate.
I’m one of those guys who cannot pass by a homeless person, a beggar, someone in need, without helping. When I first got married, I also picked up every hitchhiker I saw. My wife cured me of that. I can’t give much, but. I give as I can, when I can, to whom I can.
This day was different. Uncharacteristically, I didn’t stop. I couldn’t; I was late and in traffic at a busy intersection. This woman’s tears, though, broke my heart. Still, I couldn’t stop.
Her face haunted me all day. I failed her. No, I failed God. I gave her nothing because I was too busy. Running late. Too much to do. Not enough time. People waiting on me. Too many irons in the fire. Couldn’t hold up traffic… You get my point.
All I could do was say a prayer. “Send someone to help her, God.”
“That’s why I routed you past her, so you would see her and help her,” He said.
“I couldn’t. Send someone who has more time.”
“Time,” said God, “is the only thing that you, my children, are given in equal amounts. You all have the same amount of time in a day.”
I will never forget How scared she looked, how alone. How helpless. Most of us, myself included, are one or two paychecks away from a situation similar to hers.
Lord, help us to make better use of the time you’ve given us. Help us not to be so scared when the wolves are howling outside our doors. Help that woman, wherever she is today. Send someone to her not quite so calloused as I was that day.
Sounds are rushing
Telling us this
Telling us that
Too many voices
Too many choices
Better not miss
Better stand pat
Good Shepherd, wolves circle round.
Can’t you hear our fearful sound?
We cry out in the dark of night.
Lead us into the daylight.
For, we are lost without your love.
– S Hager 2016