Friday, April 29, 2011

I Was A Stranger, and You Trusted Me

There she was, at the side of the busy road, with luxurious long, curly hair, her back to me.

"What a beauty to behold!" It was easy to notice her.
"She's a mere school girl. And she struggles with her load to school." Something deeper in me noticed something more eternal about her.
"Michael, what time does school start?"
It was 7:30. We were at the high school. The junior high was 3/4 mile away. I supposed she might make the 3/4 mile walk in time. Besides, she might not be comfortable accepting a ride.
"But maybe Michael knows her. You could have pointed her out to him and asked at least. 3/4 mile is a long way with a load in 12 minutes."
At the junior high, her forgotten, I gave my love and hugs to Michael and left him to spread love along his day. Then I turned right and made my customary U-turn back toward downtown Gilbert.

Just past the traffic signal, there she was again, hustling with a few steps of run and a few of walk. It was 7:36, and she still had 3/8 mile to go. The busy traffic streamed by.

"I'd love to give her a break, but I'd probably just scare her. And now Michael's gone, my decent chaperone."
"She needs mercy, Tom! At least you can offer. Don't let your fear stop you from doing what love demands."
Another U-turn. "I hope I say and do the loving thing." I rolled my window down. Boy, did she ever look frazzled and needy!

"You need a ride?"

For a split second, fear, need, and trust did eternal battle, and her eyes measured the remaining distance to school. Then she nodded and threw herself and her load into the front seat.

"I'm sorry. I saw you back at the high school, and I should have picked you up while I had my son Michael in the car. I hope it's okay. Here, point this air at yourself and cool down. You can't let fear keep you from doing what's good." I chattered non-stop and it was 7:40 and we were in the drop-off lane at the school.

"My son is Michael Haws. Do you know him maybe?"
"I don't know. Do you know my dad?"
"What's his name?"
"Dave C____."
"Oh, yeah! We used to be in your ward before you were born. I mean back in 2001 when you were little." Her dad had been the LDS bishop who had welcomed us to our new home. And I had sung with her mother.

I shoved her band instrument case toward her and she was off.

Thank you, my child, for giving me trust. May heaven bless you always on your way.

Part 2. A bonus

Back toward downtown Gilbert I turned with a package from Elizabeth, my divorced wife, for a friend, Ruthanne V. I dropped the package at Ruthanne's door, then thought I'd also leave a greeting on a business card. As I opened my car door to leave, Ruthanne's garage door began to slide up, and I could see it was Ruthanne inside preparing to leave. To my surprise, my old friend Joao Bueno was also there from out of state, headed with Ruthanne to a humanitarian conference. I was able to greet both of them with a hug before returning to my apartment.

What a nice way to begin a Friday.

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