The Time I Couldn’t Help

Ya know, as I blog about the heroes of the world, I always imagined what I would do if I was ever in a situation where I would have to step out of my comfort zone.

About a couple of months ago, something like that happened.

I’m used to be able to help people. Early on as a Boy Scout and as recent as being a church usher, I am always looking to make a situation better. This time, I couldn’t help. And it killed me for a time. This is the first time I’m talking about it. I wouldn’t say it scarred me, but, I think it definitely impacted me.

My memory tells me that it was a Monday. I walked out of CVS after getting some snacks for my mommy and sisters. I got in the car, turned it on, put it in drive, and began to accelerate until I heard some yelling behind me.

I glanced at my mirrors to see what was going on and saw a young woman running towards my car in tears.

My first instinct was to open the door. My next instinct was “she’s gonna kill me”. So, I had to make a quick decision: Open the door (my window doesn’t roll down) or drive off. I could risk being hurt or worse, or I could end up helping this young lady.

Let me also say that I was aiming to help because that’s the right thing to do; not because she was attractive or anything like that. For the record, I could do a lot better. ANYWAY (I’m terrible; seriously), I opened the door and here she was. Crying. Now, it’s December or January at this point in NJ. It’s cold, baby. She didn’t have much layering on.

She began her story with how her previous attempts to get help failed her. She was saying that the guys she asked before had a lot of “What are you willing to do for me?” I took the hint. She then proceeds to tell me that I seemed like a true gentleman and that I wouldn’t try to take advantage of her situation.

What was her situation?

Well, I don’t know her age. She looked late 20’s. She tells me that she pretty much dumped everything for this guy. She lived about an hour away from my town. Her man was in town and she went to be with him. They had an argument and he left her stranded. Hold on: She was pregnant.


By this time, her cellphone goes off. She says it’s her mother. So, I’m thinking, “can’t mom help you out?” Before I can even speak, this young woman (I forgot her name; I feel sick about this. Of course, I wouldn’t have used her name in this post) tells me that her mother is bed ridden and can’t drive.

I guess you want to know what she wanted me to do. You might be thinking she wants me to drive her home. That wasn’t going to happen. I wasn’t going to do that. I don’t know where you live, or what would be waiting for me at this destination. Also, the family car situation was set in stone. I had to be somewhere with the family van. I simply couldn’t go off on an adventure.

Thing is, I had a dab of doubt about her story overall. I felt like she was perhaps out to get something. When she explained her story to me, it seemed rehearsed. On the flip side, she said she had been asking people and the more you tell your story, the more you end up just going through the motions.

Meanwhile, she is talking to her mom saying that she is still trying to get help. She is saying how her phone is dying.

Despite my overall doubt, I still believed that she was in trouble. I was still waiting to see how she thought I could help.

“I need $5 for the bus”.

Oh, well five dollars is nothing. I would have done that for her immediately. Problem was, I didn’t have any cash. When I mentioned this to her, she walked off in search of her savior.

I sat in the car watching her walk to was appeared to be an old man. I turned away and looked at the steering wheel. I wish I had the money. I was actually working a story for this blog in the event I could help her. I was excited to help her. I couldn’t.

It was only a few moments when I finally drove off. By the way, there was a bus in the parking lot, which, to me, confirmed her story, at least for wanting the money for a bus ride. I got home and all was…okay. Like I said, I didn’t tell anybody. I felt sick about it for a few days. It eventually faded.

Here’s the biggest thing: Before I left to go to CVS, I briefly considered grabbing the $5 bill on my dresser. I didn’t do it and so this whole thing was my fault. It could’ve been God saying I would need it. I don’t know. All I know is, out of the entire story I just told you, it was the $5 sitting at home that destroyed me the most.

It’s not the amount. It’s the principle. I missed out on being a blessing. The fact that I tend to beat myself up for my mistakes brings my pain out even more. I mean. I didn’t cry. I went to sleep. It’s not like I was ready to give up on life. It still sucked.

It sucked even more that I was part of a list of people that didn’t help this woman. Really? I thought about Mary and how there was no room for her and her baby. I can only pray that I am forgiven.

Happy ending? No.

However, I spent a great deal of time looking back at posts on this blog. All of the good news and inspirational quotes. I absorbed them and it made me feel good. It just so happened that my own blog…my past self….helped me in my current situation.

Whenever I’m feeling like things are terrible, I can always come back to this blog. I read about the testimonies that people shared. I can read about the good that is going on. I can be motivated. This may seem like I’m full of myself, and maybe I am. But, this blog helped me through a hard time in my life. I somehow helped myself after screwing myself.

I can only hope that this blog impacts people like it did me. I can only hope that you find something positive to carry with you each day.


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