Today as I was driving to work, I stopped at one of my favorite coffee spots. As I was turning in to the lot of the venue, I noticed a very unkempt lady standing on the corner (Special note: The suburbs are not exempt). I always do my best to pay attention to my surroundings as we live in that kind of world. A world where we must stay alert, use wisdom, display common sense and be sharp (now more than ever before) as there is a lot happening around us every minute of every day. In fact, I fully understand the meaning of, “Yeah though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death.”
Seeing the plight around me is yet another reason for me to strive to always be humble and operate within a realm of servitude, especially when dealing with people who may be struggling, no, wrestling with dire life challenges.
One thing I noticed about the lady besides her disheveled clothing was her persona and the way she was jittering and how she came across being very distraught, distressed, and destitute.
Now, like I’ve said before, I try my hardest to stay away from judging others at all times, but, some assessments are honest and truthful and, I immediately knew that she had an addiction that I do not understand, nor do I ever want to understand at any level. My assumption was valid and confirmed when she tapped on my window to ask for some ‘change.’
It was at the moment I looked in her eyes and said, “Sorry, not today,” that I saw a deep disparity and pain from within her, as the eyes truly are a window into the soul. This is also the point that the old adage (which chimed out of the mouth of my grandmother) came to mind, “There goes what could be I.” Now, though this is not proper English (in some towns), it is such a profound statement. At the point we even consider judging someone; we must humble ourselves and remember that the wayward individual we find ourselves glaring at could be us or someone near and dear to our hearts.
I understand that the Lady on the Corner could be me for many reasons; I come from a family with a history of not only alcoholism, but drug abuse. And yes, I can hear you saying loudly, “Don’t we all!” I have been around drug addicts and am able to recognize the signs and signals of use, from every tweak to every jerk. Needless to say, it is sad, serious and dangerous, all wrapped into one bundle.
I can remember a high school
friend associate (who had been kicked out of several area schools) snorting cocaine in the back of the classroom and at stoplights during lunch hour. She came from a very prestigious family and it often showed in her abuse and careless activity. But, it never dawned on me at that age how much of a risk I was taking (in many ways) by even spending time with such a person.
Me and several of my friends from the school just thought she was a ‘cool’ girl and did not realize how God was shielding us from the plight that was certainly going to be a part of her life in the near future. What we did not fully understand is that she had made a choice that was ultimately going to ruin her life and the lives of those around her. You can only imagine how humble I am simply thinking back on her and us.
I further understand that the Lady on the Corner could be me as I dated a young man who was my friend in high school, I am talking about my ace. I was vexed to find out that during his junior year he decided to smoke crack cocaine for what he thought would be recreational fun.
As much time as we would spend together, he never recruited me to join the ‘getting high chorale’ to sing melodious tunes to a glass pipe before an audience of co-junkies. I know it was not because of anything I had done, but it was truly God’s covering and grace that swept me out of the situation and moved me across country to a new beginning and life. I am even more humble because of the deliverance I received out of that situation as the last I heard, he is still addicted and singing background for the powerful drug that was always the lead singer, the star.
Listen, I have been in all types of situations that could have placed me on the corner with this same lady, in a cell where I might have ended up talking to myself, or in a stiff position lying in a shallow grave. But. guess what? I am here and can celebrate that I am free in so many ways, ways that this lady and so many like her wish they could daydream about. How dare I be anything but sincere.
The revelation of the Lady on the Corner has served as a harsh and gut wrenching reminder to stay humble and judgment free and for that, I am thankful.
I hope that people begin to realize that we must, “Be humble enough to know that we are not better than anyone else & wise enough to know that we are different from the rest.” and walk in this truth to make a true difference.
Move Forward In Righteousness XOXO ♥