"Never walk away from someone who deserves help;
your hand is God's hand for that person."
Proverbs 3:27a (The Message)
Your hand is God's hand for that person, but it's also a wonderful opportunity to get to know someone you might not have ever known.
I met Sharon one day as I was driving down the road in the middle of the hot summer. Sharon was walking along the side of the road struggling to carry some plastic grocery bags. I was on my way somewhere and at first I thought, "I don't have time to help her right now. Besides, she's a stranger and this day and age, one shouldn't pick up strangers." Then I realized I had our rather large dog with me in the car. So, I decided to take the risk and offer Sharon a ride.
She was so thankful for my help! And she didn't live far from where we were at all. We chit-chatted for a bit, she said, "God bless you for your help." I said, "God bless you too!" and we parted ways.
Several months later, I was again, driving down the road. Only this time it was bitter cold and it was snowing. Lo and behold - who did I see walking down the road but Sharon. Without hesitating this time, I picked her up and gave her a ride. I was on my way to bring my daughter her lunch she had forgotten at home and had my middle son (whom I home school) in the car with me. She just needed to go to the bank and to the grocery store. So, we ran over to the school, brought my daughter her lunch and then took Sharon to do her errands. Only this time, I remembered to give her my number and told her to call me if she ever needed a ride again. She, in turn, gave me her number and said if I'm ever going to the mall to give her a call as she liked to go there sometimes but didn't have transportation. (As a side-note, the only transportation our town has is a taxi-cab, which gets pretty expensive.)
Again, a couple months go by and today I decided to take my middle son shopping for some clothes at the mall, but I'm in a bit of a hurry so don't call Sharon because I didn't know how long she would want to be there. Guess who I saw walking down the road as we headed out? Yup. Sharon! I took that as a sign and picked her up again. We ran to her bank and then she joined us for our trek to the mall. I'm so thankful I picked her up today! I learned so much more about her and what a wonderful woman she is!
I think a real friendship is going to blossom from these encounters. :-)
Just a note: Do I think it is wise to just randomly pick up strangers as you're driving? No, I do not. But, when you hear that still, small voice and you know you can keep yourself safe then I think it's fine. Do I recommend young people, such as teenagers do this? No way! The only reason I did it the first time was because I had my dog with me and I know she'd protect me. Upon getting to know her, I discovered her to be a very sweet, little lady. I would not, however, ever pick up a man when I'm alone, nor would I pick up a woman if I got any strange feelings about her. God gave us intuition and mine seems to be pretty right on, so I'll just keep trusting God to lead me to whom I should or shouldn't help. :-)