Would I come off as a creepy guy if I offered help? Would she say no anyway because she was afraid to drive with someone she didn’t know? What if this was on my heart because God wanted me to offer to help? What if I recognized that but didn’t act on it? Was I missing an opportunity that God wanted me to have?
I remembered a time from several months ago that I passed and did not turn around for a guy walking on Broad around the same time of night. I remembered that I wish I had offered to help but I didn’t.
So I turned around. Then turned around again at Florence then pulled up and asked, “Are you OK? Do you need help? Do you need a ride?” She said she did need a ride and asked for me to take her to Murfreesboro to the pool hall off Broad.
(When she was getting in, she asked, “Are you gonna try to do something to me?” I answered, “No. But that’s not a very good question to ask in this situation. If I were a bad guy I’d say ‘no’ also.” Maybe I’m messed up, but I couldn’t resist. She paused but still entered the car. Young people have no fear. Seriously, if this were my daughter I would make her watch the Stranger Safety video again then lock her in the house till she got it)
On the way, she started telling me about how she had left her home because she had told her mother to F off. She said she was in college and her homework was done so she wanted to go out. Lots of other sordid details about divorce, how she doesn’t know her real father, fighting with her mom, etc. She said she told her mother off because her mom told her to see a psychologist and then in the fight that ensued threw her phone against a wall. She said she didn’t trust any counselors because she had one that went behind her back and told on her.
So a 19 year old college student with no cell phone leaves her house to find comfort with an ex-boyfriend at a pool hall braving the 44 degree weather at nearly midnight to walk along a road gets into a car with a stranger who jokes that bad guys would lie about being bad guys. WTH?!
Anyway, I dropped her off at the pool hall. When she is getting out I offered her my card and told her that since we were strangers I couldn’t possibly tell anyone what she said so if she wanted someone to talk to she could contact me. She took it…
And left me with a bunch of questions and self doubts:
Why hadn’t I offered to pray with her? Why didn’t I present the Gospel? If this was an encounter that God had ordained then had I blown it?
I’m left with the fleeting comfort that I did mention to her that I was a believer and offered to be there for her if she felt like it. I hope it’s enough.