Divine Appointments

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Yesterday afternoon, as I was on the bus, Tony and I had a pretty mundane text message conversation. I'm a very polite commuter and always refrain from talking on the bus. It unnerves me to no end, but that's beside the point. The situation began in this conversation:

Tony: Am I going to get little guy?
Me: It's up to you.
Tony: That means me.
Me: Lol, no. It's up to you.
Tony: Okay, I can get him. I'll leave now.
Me: Okay, well I'll see you soon!

Yes, that actually is verbatim. We're huge dorks. We do not use abbreviations and use proper punctuation!

Just as this conversation was wrapping up, we arrived at the bus stop. Now the bus that I was on is an offshoot of another park and ride's larger line. It happens at least once a week that a rider will get on the wrong bus, assuming that our little bus will eventually travel on to the larger stop. Unfortunately, they're wrong.

Sometimes they realize their mistake while still downtown and hop off to find the next bus, but other times . . . they don't find out their mistake until they are dropped off at the park and ride. I've done it myself a few times, especially since I flip flop between the small and larger lines.

Yesterday, the rider who got on the wrong bus continued to stay seated as the rest of the bus exited, until finally another passenger let her know of her new situation. I didn't hear her reaction as I stepped off the bus, but I continued to think of her as I walked to my car. She seemed about my age, not super smiley, but looked nice enough. I debated offering her a ride, but oh man, my car was such a mess! I had my soccer cleats and shin guards in the front seat, disposable diapers in the back and various garbage stuck in crevices. I'm sorry if I'm bursting any bubbles here, but I'm not a clean person. I hadn't showered before work and all I wanted to do was get home to my family and eat some dinner. I tried to assure myself that the bus driver probably drove her up to the larger park and ride. It was only a few miles up the highway. Why should I waste my precious family time?

I pulled out of the parking lot, just as that last though hammered home. I didn't need to rush home. My husband still wouldn't be back with my son and only an empty house would greet me. I yanked the wheel around to re-enter the parking lot. At the very least, I could check to see if she'd gotten off the bus or if another passenger was already giving her a ride.

My eyes scanned the people walking to their cars and I saw her just as she was cutting through the parking lot. My hand went to turn down KTIS, as I rolled down the window to question her. Just as the words were leaving my mouth, "Hey! Do you want a ride?" I saw them. Tears, streaming down her face, just enough to turn black as her mascara ran. She clenched her jaw and gave me a nod, entering my car with the statement, "It's been one of those days."

We didn't exchange names, but it still wasn't awkward. She sniffed a few times, but I didn't realize until we reached the larger parking lot that while I thought she was brushing drying tears from her face, that in actuality she had continued to cry en route. I didn't question why her day was so terrible. I didn't crank up my Christian music. I didn't know anything about her, but I prayed. The whole way.

I dropped her off at the pavillion and only stated, "I really hope that this is the turning point of your day." Her response, "It is. Oh, it is."

Such a small interaction, but hardly random. I came unglued as I thought of the small steps God had orchestrated to align our paths. I listened. I was blessed. I allowed God to show His love through me, and yet I truly think that I may have taken more from the situation than she may have.

I mentioned KTIS, because it's the local Christian radio station and they have an outreach called "Drive-through Difference." Basically the first Friday of the month they encourage people to print off the "Drive-through Difference" information sheet and pay for the person's order next in line. Tony and I have often talked about participating, but 1). We don't get fast food or drive through items frequently and 2). We don't have the money for 1. The beauty of yesterday is that I didn't have money, but God knew I had time.

26 comments:

Murdock's mama said...

I LOVE this post...thank you so much!

Mrs. A said...

gotta love divine intervention! What a blessing you two were to each other!

Sarah Louise said...

What an incredible, and inspiring act of kindness Leah! It brought tears to my eyes. God was certainly working through you.

Alicea said...

That was very sweet of you!

AmberDenae said...

Aww, Leah! I loved this post and this story. Thank you for sharing. It touched me. You're such a sweet and beautiful person!

Amanda said...

Thank you for sharing this. I also tend to look the other way, valuing my time/money etc... more than another's need - usually because I don't take the time to really consider what my $5 or 5 minutes could mean for the other person. I realize that you didn't post this so that you could garner praise - but thanks again - its a reminder that taking the time to consider another person's need is worth it!

abby said...

This is a great reminder that a small sacrifice on our part can make an incredible difference in the life of someone else. I'm also a bit convicted because I know that there have been times where I've turned the other way because I was in a hurry or thought I couldn't spare the time for some other lame reason. No more!

Heidi said...

You're a great writer. This post was very well done.

Thank you for sharing this! It edified me! :-)

beeskneeslife said...

What a great post! What a great thing to do for a stranger. Inspiring to say the least.

p.s my husband and I type out words in full when we text, too. I don't know why, but I don't even use u instead of you. Guess I am old!

Julia said...

you are such a kind person, Leah. I'm glad you were able to gain so much from this experience!

Lauren said...

OH how incredible divine intervention can be! Glad you stepped up & out to make someone have a little brighter day!

Sally F. said...

So, so good. I bet it made your day much better, too?

Genavee said...

What a beautiful moment. Thank you for sharing.

Andrea said...

How nice of you, Leah! Isn't it amazing how God just pricks our hearts to do the right thing? So glad you listened :)

Oh..P.S. My car is a MESS too :) I'm so embarassed anytime someone gets in it! haha.

allisonia said...

I really appreciated this! I love hearing about the small ways that God uses us to bless others, which in turn become blessings to us as well! And as someone who sometimes has a hard time listening to that still, small voice, it's encouraging to hear how you listened.

Mandie, Daniel and Dawson said...

While I think that it's absolutely wonderful that you helped her, m first thought is NO!! Complete stranger, she literally could have killed you and drove off with you car. I'm of the opinion that you can't judge a book by it's cover and that's exactly why I would never allow a perfect stranger in my car. Don't get me wrong you did a beautiful thing here, but you can never discount someone's ability to take your life or rob you of everything you have just bc they look like a normal twenty something girl...

Kristal said...

Such a great post. Brought tears to my eyes. Too many times I've walked away from a situation like that. Next time, I most certainly will not.

Meredith said...

My first instinct is often similar to Mandie, Daniel, & Dawson's--I often cringe at the thought of picking up hitchikers or strangers.

HOWEVER, I have to say that for me, when I feel compelled by God to do something (which is a fairly rare occurrence), I know that by listening and obeying, I will be protected and blessed. Fear never enters the equation.

Krystie said...

What a wonderful thing to do Leah! I have walked away from something similar and it would eat at me all night. But I have made more of an effort this last year to become aware.

Eli said...

I think what you did was great, I was near tears myself as I read the story, so touching. I've done it myself in the past, I gave a ride to an old lady. However, the entire time I couldn't help but think like Mandie, Daniel & Dawson and Meredith: anything could have gone wrong. I could have been killed, etc. I don't know if it's because I live in Miami and there are so many crazy stories. Wish it wasn't this way, my heart always wants to do the right thing...

Leslie G said...

What a great story. Thank you for sharing it!

The Conway's said...

God puts people like that in our lives to see how we will react! You could have been the witness that she needed...all things happen for a reason!

Rambling Renovators said...

What a beautiful post Leah. So glad you listened to God's whisper and picked her up. Don't you love moments like that...

L.C.T. said...

Wow, what an utterly inspiring post. Thank you for sharing. This was really encouraging/beautiful/amazing!

Lisa said...

Oh, Leah... I have chills. What a completely beautiful story. God bless you - you are a wonderful human being.

misc.alaina said...

That is an amazing story. Such a simple act, but it is very moving. Thank you for sharing!

 

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