Guilty…

Many years ago I was leaving work. It was in the fall and already dark. The parking lot where I parked was in the back of our print shop, just off of Main Street. The neighborhood was not always safe after dark. I was the last one to leave and I had to walk through a short alley to get to the parking lot.

 

In those days I was a “pistol packing mama”. I had a concealed weapon permit for a 45 and a 38. I always had them with me. That night I had the 38 in my waistband and the 45 in my purse. Just as I was nearing my car, a tall, long haired scruffy man quickly crossed from the sidewalk into the parking lot, headed straight for me. I’m barely 5’3” tall, so I felt like Goliath was headed my way at a fast pace.

 

My mind started racing and fear washed over me like hot water. I touched my waistband wondering if I was going to have to use my 38. I kept telling myself; “stay calm” “stay aware”. Finally I heard a voice that didn’t sound like mine at all. I asked him if “I could help him?” That’s the same question I had asked customers thousands of time; yet this guy wasn’t a customer. He asked for money for something to eat. I glanced to my right and there was the little hamburger joint that adorned the corner of Main and ‘N’. I never quit walking; I just pointed to the hamburger place and said “go in there, I’ll pay for your meal”.

 

By this time my legs are feeling like shaky rubber bands and my heart is pounding. I’m silently praying he will do as I asked; knowing he can sense my fear. Much to my relief he turned and started walking; I followed him into the eatery and silently breathed a sigh of relief. I told him to order whatever he wanted and I would pay for it. He ordered a hamburger, fries and a large drink. I paid the clerk and turned to leave. He looked at me with such gratitude and said “thank you and God bless you”.

 

I was used to seeing homeless people in the daytime; in the dark I was scared and skeptical. I thought the worst when I saw him.

 

I too am GUILTY!! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to pray for forgiveness for judging.

 

Matt 22:39 ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

 

The following is from Adam Clark Commentary on Matthew 22:39: We owe to our neighbour what we have a right to expect from him-“Do unto all men as ye would they should do unto you,” is a positive command of our blessed Saviour. By this rule, therefore, we should speak, think, and write, concerning every soul of man:-put the best construction upon all the words and actions of our neighbour that they can possibly bear. By this rule we are taught to bear with, love, and forgive him; to rejoice in his felicity, mourn in his adversity, desire and delight in his prosperity, and promote it to the utmost of our power: instruct his ignorance, help him in his weakness, and risk even our life for his sake, and for the public good. In a word, we must do everything in our power, through all the possible varieties of circumstances, for our neighbours, which we would wish them to do for us, were our situations reversed.

 

I didn’t get around to reading all the blogs I enjoy reading yesterday; so I was playing catch-up this morning. Trey Morgan’s blog was on “Failing to Love Like Jesus” It’s a great post and great site to visit. My post today is actually the comment I left on his blog so I decided to share it with you today. I know!! It was a long comment.

 

1 comment for “Guilty…

  1. June 3, 2009 at 9:09 am

    Janice, your story reminds me of something that happened to me just yesterday. I had gone down the street from my house to a Walgreen’s. I purposely parked toward the back of the parking lot to get in a little exercise. It was broad daylight. When I got back in the car, I noticed a fellow similiar to the one you describe coming across the lot directly toward me. Knowing the back doors were locked, I automatically raised my left elbow and locked my door. I glanced to my right and, though it is usually locked, too, the passenger door was unlocked. I reached over and locked it, too. All in plain sight of this man. He stopped, maybe 50 feet away (I’m not good with distance), folded his arms and just looked at me. And he stood that way until I started the car and drove off. I felt very foolish, judgmental, and like I had insulted another human being.

    Judy…I think you followed your instincts correctly. Common sense would seem to dictate that strangers not approach a person in an agressive way. It’s sad we have to be so cautious these days.

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