I pulled into a gas station the other day practically on autopilot, filled the car with gasoline, paid the attendant, and started on my way. As I turned to go, I noticed a woman sitting in the car opposite me on the driver’s side with the door open, one leg extended as if she planned to get out but had stopped in mid-motion.
Since a truck blocked my way, I had to wait. So I looked over, ever so slightly concerned. Was she ill?
She sat there, composed, but looking up into the sky as if she could see the limitless recesses of an unimagined universe. But that universe didn’t appear to be doing too well. Not by the expression on her face.
A flicker of doubt swept over me. Should I be that well-meaning do-gooder and ask if she was all right?
The truck moved on and my way was clear. I glanced back, but she hadn’t moved. Her eyes were glued to the sky. Coward though I may be, I decided to leave her to her musings…memories…grief or whatever she was experiencing. It looked very much like a private moment, even though she was in the middle of a gas station.
I’ve learned through hard experience that I can’t “save” everyone. Honestly, I shouldn’t even try. I once attempted to assist a bleeding man on the streets of L. A. and got only the man’s irritation and a medic’s scorn for my effort. Not that I was wrong to make the attempt…I was simply wrong for being so certain that he wanted my help. He didn’t.
Most often, I’ve found that people who want help will ask for it. I can always ask to assist, but gently, and with respect for an honest no.
The one thing I can do without much fuss is pray. God knows what we need—better than we know ourselves. So I prayed for the woman. She may have been basking in a lovely memory for all I know. Or her heart may have been breaking.
But I do know that the closer we embrace God, the more beautifully we embrace each other. I pulled out of the gas station and drove home, aware once again of the secret depth of each human’s journey story. We pass each other as we drive by on highways and byways, we steer our carts around each other at the grocery store, we sit next to each other at countless offices, and we barely look each other in the eye.
There are moments when we can save each other—heroically or quietly—but at least, in the passing events of each day, we can always pray for each other.
Novels by A. K. Frailey
Last of Her Kind http://amzn.to/2y1HJvg
Newearth: Justine Awakens http://amzn.to/2pq0vWN
Melchior—Vengeance Is Mine http://amzn.to/2taeW2r
Historical Fiction & Science Fiction Blend
OldEarth ARAM Encounter https://amzn.to/2KLhlsN
OldEarth Ishtar Encounter (In production)
OldEarth Neb Encounter (In production)
OldEarth Georgios Encounter (In production)
The Adventures of Tally-Ho http://amzn.to/2sLfcI5
The Road Goes Ever On—A Christian Journey Through The Lord of the Rings http://amzn.to/2lWBd00