Yesterday we stopped at Target to pick up a couple of things.  As I was about to get in the car a woman approached me. She was an older white woman.  Probably late 50s or early 60s.  She was mild-mannered and polite.  She simply said, “Excuse me ma’am, can you help me?”  I was taken aback by her approaching me out of the blue, and one too many episodes of Criminal Minds caused me to go on the defensive.  I paused and said no.  She told me she was sorry to bother me and walked away.

As she disappeared into the parking lot, I suddenly felt sick to my stomach.  Why did I tell her no?  Why couldn’t I give her a couple of bucks?  Why had she chosen me to ask for help? Then, and you know I have a truly outrageous imagination, I thought what if she was Jesus disguised as an old woman and I had just turned him down?  I wanted to cry.  I felt awful.

I reached in my wallet and pulled out a few dollars.  I drove through the parking lot looking for her.  I didn’t see her anywhere.  I seriously felt sick to my stomach worrying that I wouldn’t find her.  I circled the lot several times and was just about to leave when I saw her.  I called out to her and handed her the money.  As she approached the car I apologized to her for being rude earlier and let her know I was simply caught off guard.  She took the money and said, “Thank you, ma’am  God bless you.”

God has blessed me and continues to do so and that’s why I found it so imperative that I find that woman so I could bless her.

When was the last time you helped a stranger?

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16 Responses to Blessings

  1. cbean says:

    I have given to panhandlers on several occasions. Really not sure how I internally decide which ones and when, cause they are so numerous down here, if I would be broke if I gave to everyone I saw. On the regular, I give to our church’s benevolence fund every Sunday, so technically I am helping a stranger. I think it’s been a few years since I helped someone on a noticeable scale. I gave this old lady a ride across town. No old lady should be at the bus stop after dark when you have kids living in the same city.

  2. Roses Daughter says:

    I haven’t done it in a while. Usually I just get a feeling that I should help someone and I do. But i haven’t had that feeling in a while

  3. onefromphilly says:

    What you did the first time was CORRECT!!! You can NOT open you purse or wallet when approached by a stranger in a parking lot. You are a mother, and daughter, and you must be safe and vigilant about your safety at all times. YES Jesus is here amongst us, BUT so is SATAN and his disciples. And Satan and his folks are dangerous.

    Once in the safety of your car I agree with finding the individual and helping her out with a few bucks. But your safety must be paramount.

  4. missmajestic says:

    If she had rolled up on my like that I would have said no, but I thought she as going to ask you to buy something or visit her church or something. People have been scammed in parking lots, too, but you had good intentions. That’s what matters.

    Something similar happened to me. I was on a road trip and had stopped at a McDonald’s to use the bathroom. In the bathroom while washing my hands, a woman asked me if I knew where any homeless shelters were that would take her and her son. I was totally caught off guard because she didn’t “appear” to need a homeless shelter. Black lady, maybe 40. This was in Covington, GA. I didn’t know where any shelters were but I assumed there were some in Atlanta. She had driven from somewhere else and didn’t realize how close she was to Atlanta. We walked out side and her car happened to be parked next to mine. Her car was full of stuff and her son was inside. He looked to be 9 or 10. She told me she was fleeing an abusive relationship. She told me that she really wanted to find a place near where we were because she didn’t have any gas or money for gas. So I gave her some gas money and called a friend who was able to direct her to a shelter.

  5. NaturallyK says:

    I can’t think of a recent time off the top of my head but I try to help when I’m moved to help like cbean.

  6. Solo Cruise says:

    I did on Friday. There was a man standing at the top of my exit. When getting off initially, I drove by but “something” about him wouldn’t let me go home without helping. I turned around, got back on the interstate, got off at the next exit to turn around and go back to my exit. I stopped at the top of the exit ramp and waved for him to come to my car. I gave him the money and with tears in his eyes he thanked me, told me that he was headed to AL and that God would bless me many times over for helping him.

    I’m also a bit leary about helping some people and don’t blame you at all for your reaction. On Oprah’s Lifeclass she mentioned how animals sense danger and run in the other direction but we, humans, walk right into it. It’s good to pay attention to your inner alarms.

  7. I’ve helped someone about 2 weeks ago, I was coming out of a Chinese Restaurant, and I gave a young boy some money. Some people always say to me..Well, Would if they go and buy drugs with that money? And I say..Would if they don’t? It just wanted to help, and like you said Would if it was Jesus in disguised?

  8. There is a bible verse, that escapes me at the moment, that basically says we are to give to others when asked. And to reserve judgement on what they’d do with the money (for some people only think the needy buy booze or drugs). So I give when I have it.

    Onefromphilly brings up a good point about making sure it’s safe to do so. I absolutely hate to hear stories of good Samaritans who are harmed or even killed helping others.

  9. t. sheree says:

    This is so timely…we talked about this in length in my small group last week. I helped someone Sunday. I remember thinking, “Gosh, I don’t have any cash. I wish I had something to give him.” As he came closer, I realized his sign said, “25 cents will help.” Okay, God. I frantically started to search through my bag for any change. He was so grateful.

    It’s like CaliSlim said, we should reserve judgment. I give as I am led. I’m learning more and more to rely on the H.oly S.pirit to lead me in those decisions.

  10. GatorGirl says:

    It’s been a while for me, but thus post and the replies stirred a little something in me.

  11. As a general rule I don’t because I work in downtown now and the panhandlers a fairly aggressive and they scare me. But a couple of months ago I was walking back from lunch with my co-worker and we passed a homeless guy just sitting there quietly. And I just gave him my leftovers and kept on moving. I don’t really know why I did it but I just did and I heard the man say “Thank you” very softly. I guess because he didn’t even ask is why I felt led to give.

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