I took a little break from my blog for the weekend. I was house-sitting for a friend. As I drove from her house back to town one evening, I passed a person with a sign. You know the ones. You see them all the time. They are standing by the light at the intersection with their cardboard that states how much they need help or that they were a vet or that they are disabled. This sign simply stated that she needed a dry place to sleep. I knew from experience that she didn’t want to be picked up, but just wanted money. I got out a few bucks and held them out the window. It was dark and raining. As she came close to my window, I heard her voice saying, “Thanks.” It was a young voice and under her hood was the face of a teenager. She was wearing a good quality coat and jeans. She was so young. She didn’t show the signs of the normal wear and tear you see out there. It shook me. I didn’t know what to do. Should I tell her to get in the car and say what I wanted to say?
“What the hell are you doing out here? Where are you parents? What happened to you?!”
I didn’t. I kept driving, beating myself up that I hadn’t forgotten my errand and taken her to the nearest Starbucks and gotten her story. Maybe I could have done something. Scenarios of her circumstances ran through my brain. Maybe she was pregnant and had been kicked out by her parents. Maybe she was running from an abusive situation. Maybe she was a drug addict. Maybe she would have used me or robbed me. Did I care? Shouldn’t I have tried to help her anyway?
I have been scanning the streets for her ever since. Every time I’m out driving in town, my eye is out for that girl.
Maybe every person I see out there is that girl. Maybe I should stop scanning for her and just help every person I see no matter what. But where are they and what can I do? How can I help without becoming a doormat?
I’m really looking for an answer.