I am not an eloquent writer. Sometimes, I like to write and it sounds so lovely, and I LOVE that! But this is NOT one of those times. Perhaps it is too soon for me to see a grand moral of this story. Perhaps there is nothing poetic or lovely about this story. Anyway, this is a story that means something to me, and I feel like sharing. It means something simply because it is about serving others, and following the promptings of The Spirit. Nothing great happens in this story. No one is rescued, and no one yells I LOVE YOU to the sky...nothing wonderful happens. But MY spirit was saved, someone showed love, and to me, it is always wonderful to SERVE!!!!!
Last night, Jeremy and I went to a movie. It ended around midnight. As we were walking to the car, we heard someone crying. Sitting under a street lamp, near one of the theatre exit doors, was a woman, and she was crying. I didn't want to be rude and stare, so we continued walking to the car, but I said under my breath, "Why is she crying? I hate it when people cry! I wonder if she is okay?!" Jeremy and I spoke softly under our breath as we walked to his truck. When we got in the truck, we continued talking about the woman. We wondered if we should go help her, etc. We decided to drive past her and get a better look to see if we could more thoroughly evaluate the situation. As we drove past to the exit of the parking lot, we saw she had a bike with a trailer hooked to it. It seemed some belongings were in the trailer. We took this new information and continued deliberating as we drove out of the parking lot. Jeremy wondered what I wanted to do, and I just wondered the same from him. He asked if he should turn around. We thought of all possible situations: she was drunk, she was strung out on drugs and we couldn't really help, she was handicapped and needed someone to help her get home, she was just down on her luck and needed some money for some warm food. It was so cold out!!!!! We thought she didn't seem like a scam artist, because she hadn't actually ASKED anyone for money. I thought of the blog post I had read by Katie and her challenge to reach out to others more. She had said that we should reach out to those in need, even if it be a homeless person. She said that if they had a knife and pulled it on you, so be it. I thought of that post and thought of her challenge and that I should take it!! Anyway, we ended up turning around. I thought maybe she would need some money, so I got out a five dollar bill and we agreed if she needed it we would give that to her. Maybe she just needed to use the cell phone...As we pulled in to the parking lot, I wondered if we were doing the smart thing. I heard the words in my head, "Even as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren...ye have done it unto me." With that thought, there was no hesitation! OF COURSE, if The Savior were there, cold and sitting outside at midnight, I WOULD TURN AROUND!!!!!!! When we got back to the parking lot, I began to pray in my head. I was busy asking God for guidance when Jeremy stopped the truck in an empty part of the parking lot and asked me if we could pray together before we talked to the woman. Of course, I said YES! We held hands and Jeremy prayed we would be guided in how to help that woman. We pulled up in front of her and got out of the truck. Jeremy had told me to kind of stay behind him, but as we approached the woman, I stepped forward and asked if she was okay. She was crying and said she was not okay. She said she was sick and couldn't ride her bike. She said if we could give her a ride it would be great, she lived not too far away. I didn't think that it would be a good idea to give her a ride ourselves. I asked her about taking a taxi. She said it would only be about eight dollars to get to her house via taxi. I gave her the five dollar bill to use for taxi money. Just then, a police officer came up and called the woman by name. We realized he could take better care of her than we and we left quickly without any more incident. When we got in the truck, we both expressed how much better we felt. The police knew her, so she obviously did this sort of thing often. But it didn't feel like she had taken advantage of us (even though we both realized that maybe she had!). We felt we had done the right thing in going back, and in giving her the five dollars. I said that if nothing else, we had proven to God our humility, our gratitude for what we have. Jeremy, in his spirituality, pointed out to me the miracle we had just witnessed! How quick God is to hear and answer our prayers! Jeremy pointed out how quickly the police had arrived after our prayer. We discussed the possibility of that woman being a test for us. We spent much of the ride home discussing it, and just as much time in quiet reflection about what had transpired.