A few weeks ago I made a short trip to the grocery store after church. Because the previous time I had fallen coming in the entrance when my right foot caught the corner of the rug, I came prepared that next trip by using my cane. I went along with my shopping–cane in one arm, basket in the other. When I filled my basket of fresh produce, I got in line to pay. I am already slow at getting out my payment from my wallet but try not to get flustered at the line behind me; this particular day I was also trying to keep hold of my cane while paying.
At the last-minute or so, my cane falls to the floor. I had to firmly grasp the awkward paying counter ledge to maintain balance while bending over to try to grab the cane. As I regain balance and the cane, I come up to a standing position to see the lady in line behind me just watching. I say thank you to the cashier, grab my bag and head out to my car, replaying the scene over in my mind. I was so taken back that no one offered a helping hand. The polite gesture, in my mind, would have been to at least an offer to help–even if I was not using a cane, thus labeling me as “handicap”–it could be just offering help if I had dropped my purse and everything fell out. I dwelled on this event for a few days and told my doctors, “If I was the other person, I would have at least asked if they needed help.”
Today’s actions made me eat my words. Since my grandpa is visiting, we went to the state park for a picnic lunch then went to Young’s Jersey Dairy for ice cream. I was talking to Marcia on the way in the first door when I notice an elderly lady using a walker coming out the other double door. I even paused for a second to watch but she seemed to get to the exit door and from what I assumed could push it open. I should never assume these things; even with a cane it is awkward to get doors open–I can’t imagine using a walker in this case.
I get inside and turn around to see my Mom and Grandpa making their way to the other door. It is then that I get this sick-stomach-guilty feeling…I had just done the same to this lady as what had happened to me at the grocery store. I did not even offer a helping hand. I just paused, and turned away.
I should not dwell on my own misfortunes, but how I can help the misfortunes of others.
Jesus: “Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?”
He said, “The one who showed him mercy.”
And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”
Luke 10: 36-37