Monday, November 19, 2007

I'm No Angel

My wife gave me a very touching tale concerning a Good Samaritan‘s deeds. I was about to post it, although first I was obligated to confirm the legitimacy of this tale. I did some quick research and hit a snag when I discovered an investigation currently in progress attempting to validate this same story. At present, the accuracy of this account is not known either way, but it seems the truth is near. Therefore I’m going to wait before posting it and establish if it is indeed a truthful depiction.

That story however reminded me of another, which had taken place over the past summer. And this story I know for a fact is a true one.

I was in my truck; I don’t remember where I was heading, when I came by a small grocery store. The traffic light was red, and as I waited, I noticed an older woman standing on the sidewalk in front of the store. She was looking down into her hand, and was dressed in what appeared to be some very old clothing, which she kept as clean and neat as possible. She had a cloth on her head, a babushka, and appeared to be of European ancestry (the same as me).

I watched her for a short while and realized that she was counting coins in her hand. I determined that she must have been attempting to acquire something to eat, and there was not a huge amount of change at hand. The expression on her face was a combination of sadness, concern, and fear. My heart broke right then and there.

I turned into the parking lot and parked, then stepped out of my truck, and made my way over toward her. She noticed my approach and immediately clenched her hand, as if I might steal her coins. Walking up to her, I smiled my biggest smile as I spoke these words to her; “Hello, I am an Angel. God has told me that you need some help, and so I came to you.” Then I placed two crisp fifty dollar bills into her other open hand and smiled even more.

She looked stunned, glanced down at the money in her hand, then back up at me. Still appearing worried, she looked at me and said, “I can’t pay you back.” I replied, “It is not from me, it is from God. You can pay Him back.” The expression on her face softened, and she started to cry.

Now she began to say, “Thank you, thank you, thank you…” I interrupted her and replied, “You don’t have to thank me, I am only doing what God has asked me to do. It is God who you should thank.” Finally, she smiled, then gave me a big hug. She was now saying, “Thank God, thank God…”

We were both standing there, looking and feeling very happy. I then said to her, “You should go and eat now, it is getting late.” She said that she would and never she stopped smiling as she went through the store’s front doors, all the while waving back at me. I smiled and waved as well.

As I walked back to my truck feeling good, a depressing thought occurred to me. Had I just helped in enabling an alcoholic? It troubled me enough that I decided to sit in my truck and wait.

A short while later, she came back out. In her hand she had a small plastic grocery bag, and I could see a loaf of bread, some eggs, and the top of a produce bag. The bag was not tall enough to hide a wine bottle and too narrow for a six-pack of beer. I became confident that this was for real, she was hungry, and again I began to smile.

On the trip home, I contemplated that woman and her current station in life. I considered everything about her present situation, thinking about the bigger picture as well. Then I began to shed a few tears. I knew she would eat well tonight. Most certainly, it would be that way for the next several nights.

But a few tears did run down my cheek because something else had occurred to me. I had begun to wonder about who was going to be there to help her the next time.


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