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I thought you should know...

On my way home from the gym yesterday, I pulled into the Walgreens parking lot. As I stepped out of my car, an older gentleman motioned to me and asked, "Young miss, would you help me?"

I am almost ashamed to admit it, but, from time to time, I find myself quite skeptical of these requests. I hesitate and often walk past, not wanting to get scammed or hassled. Yesterday, I didn't hesitate. I walked right over to the man and, as I got closer, I realized he was missing a leg. He kindly asked me to help get his wheelchair out of the back seat of his car. He was very careful to remind me not to drop it on my feet. He said, "I lost my leg in Vietnam. I was a medic. The war was for nothing, just politics and bureaucracy." Then he asked me to wheel him inside. I'll admit that, at this point, I wanted out. I felt awkward and worried I was about to be trapped in a 10 minute conversation about this man's opinion on Vietnam. Despite my hesitation and awkwardness, I wheeled him inside...

As we crossed the Walgreens threshold, something changed. He softened. He looked up at me and said, "You know, I got married when I was 21. Two weeks later, I was drafted. Timing is everything." Somehow, with this tiny bit of personal information, my mind was blown. I was emotionally invested. He said, "I lost a lot. But I came back alive. That's the most important thing."

A minute later, he shook my hand and asked my name. "I will pray for you" was the last thing he said. It overwhelmed me. There are things I wish I had said in response. Your eyes are very youthful.  I will pray for you too.  But moments like that pass and the things we wanted to say fade into dimly lit thoughts in our mind and eventually,  if we're lucky, we are only left with our impression and the feeling with which we left an interaction.

I don't know the rest of this man's story, but my interaction with this man left me feeling haunted. I'm unable to chalk it up to random coincidence. God wanted me there for a reason. Thanks for the reminder, God.  Our life on earth is short and it is easy to become preoccupied with arranging for our comfort here. We are easily obsessed with avoiding loss... but Lord, just as the man in the parking lot came back alive, you enliven and awaken our souls so that we may live forever with You in Your kingdom and be restored by You. Keep us thirsty for that, Lord. 


  1. What a great reminder to be touching peoples lives around us. Just a little thing can make a huge impact.

  2. I thought of just texting or calling you, but I know how much you love comments. This story is really inspiring and such a good point to think about. I love you :) CALL ME NEXT TIME COOL STUFF HAPPENS TO YOU haha and call me anytime not cool stuff happens, too! LOVE YOU, SIS!

  3. Such a great reminder of all we have to be thankful for, not just now, in November, the thankful month, but every day. He knew. He shared and now we all know because you shared. Thanks. We are to be thankful in all things, including fiery trials. Tough stuff but very worth it. May I copy your prayer for personal use?


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