Several nights ago, my mother was standing outside CVS at midnight. Disheveled, tired, and sick my mom was waiting for her ride.
Unbeknownst to my mother, the pharmacist heard my mother tell my father on the phone that it was going to take a while for her medicine to be ready. He could see the weariness on her face, and could tell that she was tired and worn down. He didn’t hear on the other side of the phone that my father was going to run across the street to grab them a bite to eat (McDonald’s nonetheless >> slim pickins’ at midnight), while she waited.
See, my mom was struggling with a bad case of bronchitis causing her airway to constrict, and actually had just left the hospital and needed to get her medicine filled. My parents had been at the emergency department for several hours and were hungry. The pharmacist apologized for eavesdropping, but he could tell she didn’t feel good and he was going to bump her script to the top and try to get her out of there ASAP. How kind is that? I’m sure he’d had a long day too. Working at a 24 hr pharmacy must be exhausting, especially dealing with people that aren’t in good health or spirits, and possibly visibly concerned trying to make the payment for their much needed medicine. He extended grace to my mom and that was just a nice thing to do. Thanks for being nice, Mr. Pharmacist!
He filled her medicine lightening fast, and mom headed out the door. She realized my dad had not returned yet from grabbing them a bite, so she decided to post up against a column and wait outside in the night summer air. Several cars drove by her without pause, and then she noticed when an older van paused in front of her. She looked up to catch the eyes of the driver, who was wanting to grab my mom’s attention with the words “Are you okay?”, my mom mouthed yes, and gave her a thumbs up. The sweet older lady, matched mom with a thumbs up and a bright smile, and continued on her way.
Thank you to that anonymous compassionate lady. My mom was okay, but what if she hadn’t been? To anyone passing by (and several did without an extra thought), my mom would’ve looked weary and alone at midnight, and very well could’ve needed help. That lady saw that, and she took the risk that my mom would say “No, I’m not okay.”, and she was willing to get involved, to offer what she could for my mom.
This isn’t common. Most people, not maliciously, are too self-centered to even notice someone standing off to the side. We are conditioned to moving at crazy paces, and living with blinders on to any outlying situations. We’ve become globalized and that has left us desensitized to what’s right in front of us. Reality is somewhat distorted with social media and the news handpicking from a plethora of stories.
The truth is that there is a lot going on within our local community. Community representing our family, friends, and those local to us. We don’t know the backgrounds to those in need, but many times we are capable of seeing that there is a need. One that we can do something about. What if we all took a moment to ask, to check on someone >> how would lives look different?
As Christians, extending grace and love is foundational to our faith in God. We have the chance to give people a hope and light to brighten their circumstance. It’s such a gift to extend to others, and we should know because it’s what our Father extended to us.
Hearing how it made my mom smile and feel warm to have a stranger genuinely check on her caught my attention. I honestly don’t know if it had been me driving past, if I would’ve stopped to check on her. Would I have even noticed her standing there? Would I have been too tired to care, too rushed to be concerned? Or too cautious to ask, I mean what if she had said “No, I’m not okay.”…what would I have done?
Wow, I’m not sure.
Those questions didn’t stop that sweet lady, but they probably would’ve stopped me. Thinking about that makes me want to be more like that lady, more like Christ.