Friday, July 25, 2008

Fool Me Twice, Shame on Me...Part 2

"Mom, isn't that the girl we took to the bus station?" - continued from yesterday.

Indeed it was.

Here's a little background.

About two months ago after B's dance recital we were in our downtown area.
Not the smaller town that we live in, but our actual city.
Big buildings.
Where the symphony and professional ballet company perform.
That kind of downtown.

You might remember I mentioned a girl that stopped me on the street and was having a hard time.

Well, this girl about 19 or 20ish is crying. I have both my kids and am walking to the parking garage. She stops me and asks for my help telling me some terrible long story about the cops taking her car away and she needs to get to the bus station to get home.

Can I help her?
Oh, and she has no money to buy this bus ticket which costs $16.
She just needs $16 and directions to the bus station.

A few things you should know about me.
I never carry cash.
I am directionally challenged.
Strangers always tell me their life stories. Really they do. Not sure why, but they do.

So, I have no cash to give her and I no idea where the bus station is.

But I do have a GPS in my van and my credit card. So, I feel a nudge to help her and ask her if it would be okay if I just take her to the bus station.

I know.
Not the smartest thing.

But, she really didn't have that crazed killer look, so I decided to pay attention to the feeling that I could not possibly walk away from this girl and leave her standing in the middle of downtown with no where to go.

I took her to the bus station, bought her lunch and the ticket and told her I would pray for her.
I left her and thought I would never see her again.

Well, guess what? Guess who is leaning against the gas station wall crying two nights ago?

Yep, it was her.

So, after the mall, I needed to get gas. I pull in the gas station and my daughter is the first to recognize the girl. My van is between the girl and the gas pump. I think she sees me, but turns away.

And honestly, y'all. I did not know what to do. I kinda freaked out a little. So, since my car is between her and the gas pump, I just pump my gas and watch her through the windows.

I see her crying and talking to two guys paying for their own gas. She shows them money. They are pointing across the street somewhere. Maybe to the hotels. She is no doubt telling them a story of her troubles. But they actually just wished her well and left.

I finish my pumping my gas and go to get in my car. I feel the nudge again. Dang.

So, I catch her eyes and lean over my car to ask how she is. She tells me she has been better. I ask her why she is back in town. She looks at me confused. I ask if she remembers me. She says no.

I ask if she remembered the day that me and my two little kids, one in a ballet outfit, took her to the bus station and bought her lunch and a ticket home. Remember, I hugged you and told you I would pray for you?

Nope, she said she didn't remember me.

She then looked away pretty quickly. I left. I watched her walk into the gas station and wipe her eyes not daring to look my way again.


I wanted to help her again. I wanted to go in and just ask what her story really was. I wanted to know why I have come across this girl twice in such a short time. I wanted to know if she used my bus ticket to go home or was she just trying to scam me.

The optimist in me wants to believe she wasn't trying to scam me. The person that lives in this messed up world sort of believes differently.

Not wanting to be fooled again, having my child with me and it being dark out made me a little more reluctant to help her again. And besides, she didn't seem to want my help this time.

I just can't get her out of my mind.
We all have a story.
I just want to know hers.


6 comments:

Amy said...

A divine appointment for sure. I would almost bet you will run into her again. God's got her number and is using you to touch her heart. Thank you for your servant's heart...some how God will use your kindness to penetrate her heart. Keep doing what you are doing....and keep alert...and keep praying for her! And what an incredible lesson for B as well.

Genny said...

Janel,
I think it's beautiful that you helped her and that you listened to that inner voice. She may not remember you now, or she may say she doesn't remember, but you never know the impact you have on people's lives!
By the way, I finally (sheesh it took me forever) got my thank you to you up today for that sweet award.
genny

smiles4u said...

I think what you did is awesome. So often when people help others there are strings attached or some kind of payoff. So often we are suppose to do things that we don't understand and we don't always listen because were afraid or question it or don't understand it.

I love stories like this. You have no idea how much of an impact you had on this young woman....bless you for listening and obeying your heart!

Beachy Mimi said...

There is just no telling what did and will result from your encounter with her. Bless your heart for responding and not just walking on by.

Kellie said...

Wow! Quite a story...

I think you did the right thing.

tollesons4him said...

I think you did the right thing, THere was a reason you ran into her again. I agree with what Genny said, you never know the impact you have on other's. I know God was saying "Well done my good and faithful servant"

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