A few hours ago, I went to get a handful of things at the more expensive but WAY more convenient grocery store, which is just a 10 minute walk away. On the way back, I ran into an inebriated young man who asked to use my phone. I thought about it for a second and didn’t feel like he was any kind of threat, so I let him use my phone to call his mother for a ride.
I didn’t feel right just walking away and wanted to make sure that he got home safely, especially when I noticed that he had a Livestrong bracelet, recently shaved head, and that he was super thin. So I went into the gas station and got him a Gatorade, and hung out with him while he waited for his ride. After half an hour, I called his mother back to make sure she knew where to find him. It turned out that someone had come by, didn’t see him — he was sitting down next to the ice machine out front — and had then left. So I told her exactly where he was, and his sister came to get him shortly thereafter.
My new friend told me that he’d been attacked by three men earlier tonight. He was running around in socks without any shoes, and he had dried blood on his face. Regardless of anything else, the poor guy had clearly had one hell of a bad night. I’ve had my fair share of those, thankfully mostly in the distant past at this point. He really needed to find his way home and sleep it off, safe and surrounded by people who care about him.
He kept thanking me and telling me that I was the only person who would even talk to him. It sounded like he’d been out there, inebriated and looking for help, for a while. I’m really glad that I went to the store when I did, and that I could tell he was harmless.
I think that perhaps one of the Ladies (my shorthand for Brighid, Morrighan and the other female spirits who I consider family) gave me a little shove when I was unsure of what to do for a moment, and I am grateful. I was that drunk kid, self-medicating and accidentally getting too messed up, plenty of times when I was younger. I know that more people probably presumed that I was harmless and talked to me because I was female, but there were plenty of strangers who helped me in some way when I was that messed-up teenager and young adult. I’m glad that I had the chance to pay it forward a tiny bit.
With that said, friends, I wish to issue you a challenge. You never know what someone’s circumstances are when you cross paths with a stranger on the street. I don’t want you to put yourself in harm’s way, but I do want you to not automatically speed up or look the other way the next time someone asks you for help. Take a moment to assess the situation, trust your gut, and see whether you can help if your gut gives you the go-ahead. There are so many people in this world who are hurting, with varying reasons, and sometimes it just takes a bit of time and compassion to make a difference.
Lots of love and many blessings to you!