Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Love Thy Neighbor
Today I had an unexpected yet very poignant lesson in the true meaning of Christmas. Actually, there were many lessons for me in this situation. The first being to listen to that still small voice speaking to my spirit in the midst of everyday life.
I was at the school today helping with the literacy program, as I was leaving, I checked my phone to see if hubby had called to have me pick up lunch...he usually does on Tuesdays. He hadn't and I was about to call him...then decided to just go right home.
As I waited at the stop sign, I had a choice to go left or right in order to go home...at the last minute, I decided to go right. As I drove down Cascade, I was almost at my road, when I watched an elderly lady slip and fall in her drive way. I slowed and watched as I passed and she looked like she was getting up. There was a young man watching from across the street, and I thought he might go to her. I stopped as I realized she was very slow to get up, and the young man was not moving. I eventually got turned around and stopped to offer my assistance. This sweet 78 year old darling was wearing only a sweater as her outer layer, and rubber sandals on her socked feet. She was not dressed for the weather at all!.
Thankfully, she was not physically injured and had landed on her knees not her back, hip etc.
As I helped her to the door of the home we were at, I got three stories as to who's home this was. We knocked and rang and could not rouse anyone at either door. I was at a loss as to where I could take this woman, she obviously could not be out walking in the clothes and shoes she was wearing...I was also beginning to realize that this dear lady was at the very least confused.
I helped her to my warm van while I tried to figure out where she lived. where she was headed and where she had come from. I knew I needed to get her help, but didn't even know from whom.
I called 911, they must have wondered if I needed the ambulance since I couldn't even give them my cell phone #!!! It is very new...a month...or so; ) and I am HORRIBLE with phone numbers.
As 'Ruth' and I waited for the ambulance, she was rather panicked about needing help, figuring out where everyone was at, and that her mother and child were waiting at the mall for her....(we found out later, as I'd suspected, her mother is deceased). She was SOOOO worried about keeping me from something even after repeated assurances that I had nothing pressing.
I showed her pictures of Jianna that I had just picked up at the school, trying to get her to relax...I was sure she would jump from the van at any moment. I laughed with her about my own forgetfulness at times, and tried to help her to put aside her worries about the ambulance...it made her feel silly that she might need that kind of help...I assured her she deserved help as much as anyone.
It turns out Ruth had Alzheimer's, and was at her own home, but her sweet husband must have been asleep, because he didn't realize that she'd left the house until the ambulance arrived.
I drove away, after reassuring her that the attendants just wanted to warm her up and make sure she was OK. My emotions took over then... How terrified her husband seemed to see all that had transpired without his knowledge. How confused this dear lady was trying to remember even the time of year that it was...I thought of a dear couple from our church who have been living this nightmare....my heart cracked.
As I prayed for all of them, I wondered how this sweet lady could think anything was more important than stopping and making sure she was safe...and my heart broke.
This Christmas...and every day, I want to leave time in my daily hustle and bustle to hear the promptings of my teacher Holy Spirit, and to be available to those in need.
I was truly honored to have the privilege of maybe bringing a bit of comfort to Ruth in this trying time.
Loving because He first loved me...isn't that what Christmas is all about?