Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Street Encounter

I decide at the last second to turn onto the street to the post office.  I need to mail a package even though my white jeans are mud-caked from my daughter's sandals, and I look a wreck.  (Friends over vanity:  it's good for me.)  I pull under the shade of a tall tree and glance across the street. 

My eyes rest on a startling sight:  a frail, white-haired woman is sprawled on the asphalt beside the sidewalk.  Her gray-headed husband is unsteadily making his way toward her to help.  I hurriedly give instructions to my son as I rush across the road to help.  The man's bent-over form is tenderly giving her the strength she needs to stand.

I pick up her sunglasses that had fallen off of her sweet face.  A lens is missing, which she is holding in her hand.  I assess the other damage:  the scraped knees, the gash on her papery-skinned hand, the abrasion on her forehead.  She sits in the seat of her car while I retrieve wipes and the first aid kid.  I am a mother.

Thoughts flood my mind.  Thoughts of aging and frailty. 


And then. . . . Christ thoughts.  The picture of the Groom and His bride.  Loving her tenderly as she ages.  His eyes ever attentive on her.  His arms ready to steady her.  His hands reaching out to her when she falls.  Picking her up to restore her, not to condemn her and scold her for her clumsiness or her inattentiveness.  And a picture of the church reaching in to work alongside the groom, to be His hands and feet, to treat wounds, to pick up and restore brokenness.

And her words, "I don't know how this happened.  I just don't understand.  I don't usually do this."  We often find ourselves in such a mess, don't we?  Looking at our bruised hearts or hurt relationships and wondering how on earth we wound up looking like this -- battle-weary.

I finish cleaning her up and bandaging her hurts.  She asks me what she owes me.  I'm confused and say, "Nothing.  I'm glad to be able to help."  And it is later as I'm pondering our meeting that I know she truly does owe me nothing.  It was Jesus who paid it all.  For any kindness or goodness we find in this world, it is to Him we all owe.


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21 comments:

Monica Fernaays said...

First thought that that popped into my head upon finishing this ~ Amen! Might be a corny response,but oh well! Have a wonderful day!

the shoafs said...

several thoughts on this:

1. i hope that it my husband and me one day. old and frail and still there for each other.
2. i usually look a mess and it doesn't stop me from post offices, stores, etc. i'm just waiting on my five minutes of fame on the "people of walmart" site.
3. we need more people in the world who will stop and render aid to others like you did. have you seen the video clip of those people in new york who stepped over that man while he lay dying after helping a lady who was being mugged?
4. i love how you took this scenario and referenced it with Christ and the church. we DO owe Him all....

well done :)

Cranberry Morning said...

This is a beautiful post and a great analogy.

Carrie said...

This is beautiful! ;)

partialemptynester said...

Such a tender post! Isn't it like us to look to Jesus and ask what we owe when He's given us His very life!?

Jaime @ Like a Bubbling Brook said...

Oh, my sweet friend, you sure have a way with words! You painted a beautiful, inspiring picture!

I love the end of your post: "For any kindness or goodness we find in this world, it is to Him we all owe."

So very true.

marnie said...

Isn't it just like us to look more at ourselves when we fall than to look to our Bridegroom waiting to help us up. Thank you for the beautiful analogy and reminder of His tender love.

Amydeanne said...

well i'm all choked up now. what a beautiful post this morning.

This Daddy said...

That is awesome and sweet. I love your blog. It is so nice to read kind loving blogs after I write my crazy nonsense.
Thanks, Scott

Sorta Southern Single Mom said...

Stopping by from SITS...what a beautiful story. It makes me think of my grandparents and hope that if they or any of us, really, find ourselves in a similar situation, someone like you is there to lend a hand.

Sarah said...

All I can say is...Beautiful!

The Sharp's said...

What a great post! Got me a little teary eyed!

The Redhead Riter said...

Beautiful post and touching words.

La Familia Garcia said...

oh wow, thanks for sharing that! This brought me to tears as I think of my own grandparents in this stage of life. I've heard my grandmother say that MANY times. But I've never made the relation to Christ loving us! THANKYOU for sharing this!!

Amy in Peru said...

oh yes. this was a privilege to read about. I'm so glad you got to experience it.

amy in peru

Shell said...

Beautiful.

Missie said...

Beautiful story, I am so glad you helped!
I would have assured her that I did that all the time!

GlowinGirl said...

Friends, thanks for all the encouragement. My Internet went out right after I posted this, and was off all day. Trying to catch up!

Manda said...

This is beautifully written and tender. My heart needed this today... I'm feeling like I've taken a tumble, sprawled on the ground. Surrender, possibly... in this brokenness. Praise God, Jesus helps me rise {all with His strength}.
Bless you :)

Holly Renee said...

Beautiful post. I love seeing older couples together, holding hands or what not. It just makes me think about enjoying life.

I think you are a sweetheart for rushing over to help. Some people are too scared or don't know what to do. Good for you!!

Ben and Ashley said...

I can't tell you how encouraging your blog is! I recently stumbled upon it and it's so refreshing! I'm encouraged at how you bring all things back to Christ. Thank you so much!

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