I spend an unnatural amount of time in the parking lot of a local store.
That sounds like some kind of bizarre plea for help doesn’t it?
“Hi, I’m Nina and I like to spend my free time in this parking lot”!
Wouldn’t make me too many new friends but I have a really good reason for being outside rather than inside, and since we all have issues, this is one of mine, I could easily play the part of the lady in the commercial, you know the one where she is bowling and this cute little pink thing with big blue eyes keeps trying to drag her off to the restroom, finally she angrily declares “No! I am seeing my doctor!”.
Well, me and my bladder just hang out rather than suffer the nuisance and annoyance of having to find a restroom every three hundred feet.
That is my personal secret revealed for the day.
Disturbing? Probably! Too much information? Surely! Needed to be divulged in order to write this post? Most definitely!
I had to tell you that so that you wouldn’t think I am just all kinds of weird (those who know me are now falling over laughing hysterically thinking BUT YOU ARE WEIRD!)
That point aside. I have learned a lot sitting there and watching shoppers and I always think about them and what their life is like and if they look weary, tired, or hurting, I always say a little prayer for them.
I watch people interact with their kids and I watch the elderly go in and I wonder do they have enough food money.
And amazingly enough the majority of my posts have been birthed there, most of my series titles and scriptures have been jotted down while sitting in that parking lot and the death of “Eagle” hit me there and I sat and cried scribbling it all down as my family returned to try to understand why on earth I was crying.
So I think I have a special kind relationship with that place and the most astounding thought that I have taken from it is this, WE AS HUMANS, AS A MAJORITY SUFFER FROM THE TOTAL LACK OF PERCEPTION!
My view varies based on parking, and across the street in one direction is what was once upon a more prosperous time THE motel of the town, it has since became not quite so much so.
I think it is mainly rented out as housing and often I watch those that live there come and go from the grocery store.
One evening a couple had just came out and were trying to cross the road they were dressed very modestly and NO ONE would stop to offer them to cross the road and the more I watched, I could only think that maybe if they were dressed to the nines or in fine clothing, or were well-known people, like I don’t know a mayor, or doctor or someone of the sort, people would be glad to let them cross, but no, drivers felt it not worth their time to show kindness to this couple.
The other side facing the store, right in front of it, I have had the grandest of all pondering.
There is a local man,seen by many, but I am sure known by few if any.
He is for the most part mute, he is so sweet and the kindness oozes out of him, he is an older man and lives in an assisted living home just a tad to the side of the grocery, and he can communicate IF you are willing to listen with your HEART and not depend so much on ears.
So Me and Pinky, (the cartoon bladder) are once again sitting there ( because I had determined I AM NOT going to the bathroom AGAIN ) and the sweet man is out there and we wave at each other and he flashes me that sweet smile and there are several shopping carts haphazardly left here and there on the walk, so he gets them one by one and takes them back in the store and puts them in their place, he comes back and picks up some loose trash and throws it away, he then steps just inside the store to a little rack where I am so sure are the “Thrifty Nickel” or something to that effect, it is little papers that people run ads for anything imaginable to sale, I think they are actually free BUT if not some witty, knowledgeable store employee SHOULD KNOW THE PRICE ( but I guess that depends on who is trying to ask! )
He holds it up and shows it to a bag boy, who just looks zombified at the paper, as if it is a mysterious sphere floating down before him and shrugs and walks off, then the man turns to a cashier, who is obviously also brain-dead to the universal code language
( HELLO if you are holding it up, you want to know the price) and she brushes him off also, and he just puts it down, that beautiful smile has now faded and he walks silently away to the place he calls home.
So between pinky pulling my arm and these two geniuses I am growing a wee angry.
Curlylocks is still outside after having ran away to avoid the man’s unspoken question,( never bothering to notice that the carts had been taken care of for HIM ) so I call him to my window and as gently and clearly as possible I said “He is asking you how much that paper is.”
Curlylocks looks at me, by this point I have come to believe the dude may not really be a bag boy but is actually zombie doing a rather bad impersonation of a bag boy, he just says”Umm, I don’t know” and I just say “Okay” .
By this point, I really kinda wanted to slap him upside his head and say “You know Sonny, you ain’t through living and one day that might just be you!”
Then I wanted to slap my own self! Why did I not just drag pinky out of the vehicle, tell the sweet man to hold on one minute, go buy the paper, give to him! I COULD HAVE DONE THAT!!!!
So now we have three geniuses! What is wrong with us as a society?
Why can we not hear what others are saying, even if they have no words?
Why do we hold to the old cop-out that if they needed anything THEY would ask, if they had a problem they would tell someone.
Why do we not listen with our hearts and be led by the spirit? When we look someone in the eye and that little tug inside of us tells us they have a need, why do we not ask?
Why do we not care? Why will not go even an inch outside our zone to help another person?
How many chances have been missed to impact a life other than our own?
This did not happen in a parking lot but I have pondered it more than once, because it leaps to mind when I think of these things, so it belongs here.
My family has a friend that grew up with my parents, she is a wonderful woman and has dedicated her life to two people, Jesus, and raising her little grand-daughter, she is in her seventies and she called one evening and needed help, her back was hurting really badly and thought it was caused by her stomach, so me and my Dad took her to the ER, she was left for hours in a freezing cold room, when we did go back to see her, she said she was freezing so I asked for a blanket for her (which should have been offered ) and she told us that she had a broken back.
She had been doing yard work that week and had somehow slipped or something and didn’t think much of it but had actually broken her back.
She told me she needed to go the restroom and had mentioned that the nurses had been really rude to her, so I told her I’d go get someone.
Now this is around five in the morning, we had been there all night, ( They are in process of transferring her to another hospital better equipped for her injury) so I go to the desk, there’s the doctor and three of four nurses sitting around and I ask could someone please come help her to the bathroom, This young nurse just looks at me and says “Well, I’ve took her several times” (Yeah, there is obviously a limit on times one may need to go) I said “Well, she needs to go” she just looks at the doctor and rolls her eyes and he said “Take her” she gets up, her nasty little attitude plain to see and I said “You do know that HER BACK IS BROKEN don’t you?”
She just looks at me and like nothing and almost smugly says “Yeah, I know” and it took everything in me not to say “Well, here’s the deal, one day this is going to come back and bite you so hard in your prissy little butt, one day you will be in her shoes.”
But as a child of the Lord’s, I held my peace but it was hard, she was so smug, so smirky, so absolutely uncaring and cold that I truly would not want to be in her shoes, if that is how she chooses to treat wounded people she should have never became a nurse, she should not be allowed to care for a rock.
But it does beg the question, what happened to us? When did we grow so insensitive, so lacking as a society?
Well, I am sure it happened as we fell as a nation from the grace of God and without his presence and guidance THAT IS what happens to society and it is the biblical fulfillment of what is to become of people.
“Without natural affection”, lacking any common decency or courtesy, much less compassion toward our fellow human.
BUT more so as Christians we ARE to be the LIGHT in the darkness.
WE are to shine into this world and be different and to do that and to not fall victim to the infectious lack of caring and love growing cold, we must be aware of what is inside of us.
Jesus IS the master of perception! And of course HE IS WHO HE IS but as his children WE CAN PRAY for HIS PERCEPTION to be awake and alive in us.
People really didn’t have to tell him much,when he walked this earth he was so in tune to people he took it straight to the heart, he didn’t make them pour out their secrets, or wait till they begged for help, he addressed the problem and assured help was on the spot.
More often the people who need help the most are the ones who are LEAST likely to ask.
NO ONE WANTS TO FEEL EMBARRASSED and shame has NO PLACE but satan sends it and if you are lead of God to help in a charitable way, keep it secret!
AS much as you possibly can, again because NO ONE wants to feel embarrassed and calling attention to their plight and what you did to help will only embarrass them and make them feel worse than they would have if you had left them alone.
“Take heed that ye do not your alms (charitable deeds) before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee as thee hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men, Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.” Matthew 6:1,2
So we never want to come off that way! Here’s what we want:
“But when thou doest thine alms, LET NOT THY LEFT HAND KNOW WHAT THY RIGHT HAND DOETH: that thine alms MAY BE IN SECRET: and THE FATHER SEETH IN SECRET HIMSELF SHALL REWARD THEE OPENLY” Matthew 6:3,4
“Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask not again.
And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.
For if ye love them which love you, what thank (credit) have ye?
for sinners also do even the same.
And if you do good to them which do good to you, what thank (credit) have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, TO RECEIVE AS MUCH AGAIN. Luke 6:30-34
“Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also IS merciful.”
“GIVE, and it SHALL BE GIVEN UNTO YOU; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give unto your bosom. FOR WITH THE SAME MEASURE THAT YE METE (use) withal it will be measured BACK UNTO YOU again.” Luke 6:36,38
So lets all do better, let’s make eye contact, pray for that perception and TAKE CHANCES and ASK when we feel someone has a need and remember this isn’t always about money, it can be many things, even just someone who will listen for a moment and a little help getting something off a store shelf.
And if they say “No, Thanks” what have you lost???? You have offered and God is still very pleased with that!
But let’s please not continue to look through people as if they aren’t even there and never, ever over them, like what happened with the sweet man, when his disability was such a burden to others that they would not even TRY to understand him, and someone other than you and me sees it.
He sees it all, so let’s make sure what he sees is us being the best we can be.
Φλογιζω/ All rights reserved/ NBJ 2015