Strange thing happened on the way home from work today. It was raining but I had to stop for gas. Walking out of the store, I slipped and fell. In less than a second, there was a man offering me his arm and a woman grabbed my other arm to help me up. I was grateful for the help and knowing that two total strangers wanted to help. Both wanted to make sure I was ok, and I was other than a couple of broken nails and my knee hurts. My pride sure took a beating and I even said that as I rubbed my behind walking away.
I pumped the gas thinking about how easy it is to accept help at times, while other times, needing it, we just do not even ask. Sometimes help shows up and other times, no matter what we do or how hard we try to get help, it just never seems to come.
Sitting here, I am thinking about all the folks around Orlando panhandling with their signs, just looking for whatever help folks want to give them. Sometimes the sign will have "homeless veteran" needs help. What do I do? Most of the time I judge them, wondering if they really were a veteran or not, instead of thinking what I can give them. By the time I decide, the light changes and traffic moves on. I leave them behind never knowing anything about them.
Did they ask for help and no one helped or did they hold in the fact they were in need of anything until it was too late they ended up on the streets?
So many questions flooding my head right now. It seems as if the difference is, folks will respond when they see "it" with their own eyes.
We know there are far too many veterans hurting, needing help to make it from one day to the next, but either they do not ask for help, or no one wants to help them. Wouldn't it be great if what they needed were as visible as a person falling to the ground? What if we could just see it and they did not have to say a word?
What would it be like if they understood "Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall" and knew it did not have to happen? To be needing help and willing to ask for it, believing that it will come, can seem like a never ending cycle of suffering. Yet hope is what keeps us getting up in the morning. Hope that we will make a difference by touching someone else with acts of kindness and yes, even returning that feeling by letting them help us.
The two caring strangers saw me fall. They rushed to help. It is something that runs on on impulses fueled by compassion. It happened here in Orlando when the Pulse shooting happened and it was all over the news. Folks knew people needed help and they showed up, doing whatever they could to make things better. But I think it was also something more. They wanted to make sure the survivors understood there were more folks doing good than one bad man acting out of hating.
Knowing people are more apt to love than harm should provide us with comfort but imagine if we were all willing to not just offer help when we could, but be able to accept it when we needed it?
If you need help, let them help you get up so that you can turn around and help someone else who has taken a fall.