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Scared to Serve

Yesterday on my way home from work I noticed a man on the corner.  He had a long beard, a bandanna, and baggy clothing.  He was acting strange.  He was bending down like he was going to charge, and then running at the road.  He would stop before he got into traffic, but I began wondering if he was working himself up to run into traffic. 

I watched him while I drove through the McDonald's.  I assumed he was homeless and the more I watched him the more erratic his behavior seemed.   I spent a great deal of my career working with people with the mentally disabled, and I was afraid of this mans behavior.  I also had the training to deal with it...so I wondered what to do. 

He was not my responsibility, so I passed the buck.  I pointed him out the the poor girl at the drive through.  I told her they should call someone, he looked like he was going to jump in front of traffic.  She told me she would tell her manager.  I drove off, thinking I could let it go...but I couldn't. 

The Holy Spirit had my attention.  Did I want to be the sort of person that left a situation God had prepared me to handle because "it was not my responsibility"?  If not me then who?  I was scared so I prayed. 

I pulled back into the parking lot and got out of my car.  I didn't want to approach right away, because they could raise his defenses, so I planned to walk around the block and greet him as I passed.  I prayed for God to open the door for a conversation if it was God's will for me to talk to him. 

As I passed, I looked him in the eyes and said "Hey, how are you today?"  He grunted as passed each other.  I kept walking.  That was not a good opening.  I stopped at the bus stop to look for another one.  To pray and ask for guidance. 

As I sat and watched another person pulled up in their car.  They handed him an ice cream from McDonald's saying "It must be hot our here, I thought you might like this".  The man took it, went inside and enjoyed his ice cream, completely deescalated. 

I was trying to offer my experience and my expertise to no avail.  They simply met the person's need.  What a blessing to witness.  I spent the car ride thinking about how I need to do better at seeing the basic human need and not analyzing everything.

Thank you lord for sending that person, for meeting that guy's need, and teaching me a lesson.  I am sorry for my pride and ignorance. 

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