This post is raw. There is no way to polish it.
Sunny and I had just dropped a friend off at her home after a wonderful Ash Wednesday service, and were headed to the grocery store before picking the boys up from youth group.
We were singing along to the radio, as we often do when the boys are not there to make fun of our choice in music, laughing when one of us (me) hit a note all wrong.
The laughing stopped rather abruptly as a slight man stumbled off the sidewalk and fell into the road, just a few yards ahead of my big old Chevy truck. As I slowed to a stop, he righted himself, and got back on the sidewalk.
“Oh, good” I thought, “perhaps he just slipped on the icy walk way and will be ok”. But he wasn’t. Just moments later, he lurched into the street again, this time falling onto his back and rocking back and forth for a moment before crawling back out of the street.
By this time, I had put on my flashers, and decided to stay a short distance behind him, in an effort to keep other motorists from hitting him, as best I could.
For the next 2 blocks, which may as well have been 100 miles, I crawled along behind him, beside him, herding him. The other drivers roaring up behind me, flashing their high beams, honking their horns in frustration at my delay (perhaps they thought I should get a newer truck that could go faster, as the Chevy is an impressive 20 years old).
I called the Anchorage Police and asked for help.
The gentleman, oblivious to the danger around him, just kept right on walking, across 3 lanes of traffic, as the light turned from green to red. I was stuck, helpless, at the light, watching in fear, and praying praying praying he would not get hit.
Not ever, but really not then, as my sweet, innocent Sunny girl watched in wide-eyed concern from the backseat.
he made it across the street, and the light turned green, and by God’s hand, he stopped. feet firmly planted, just weaving a little, on the sidewalk, with just enough room for me to pull up.
As I came to a stop, a young man also pulled over.
Both the young guy and I got out of our vehicles and approached the man standing, bewildered, at the side of the road.
I introduced myself and said that I was going to wait with him until help came. He said he was drunk, but he just needed to walk it off and he would be alright. The young man very tenderly put his arm around the drunk guy’s shoulders and gently but firmly held him out of harms way.
Over the next 10-15 minutes, the two of us stood with this man, talking to him, holding him, holding back our tears.
At one point he thought he wanted to sit down, but he did not want to sit on the sidewalk. I found a piece of wood, and placed it down for him to use as a stool, but then he did not want to sit alone. So there I was, in my dress and heels, sitting on the sidewalk. And there was the young man, in his freshly pressed pants and button down shirt, sitting on the sidewalk. And there was the man, in his long sleeve t-shirt and urine soaked snow pants, sitting on the sidewalk. Shivering.
We all stood up again, just a minute or so later, when he decided he felt good enough to walk. But he couldn’t. So we stood, the young man, again with his arms around the drunk man, and me standing just a little bit in front to block the street.
Eventually the Anchorage Police showed up, and with care and unparalleled compassion, the officer gently, kindly helped the drunk man into the patrol car.
I thanked the young man for stopping. He thanked me for stopping. We went back to our vehicles.
As i got into the truck, sweet innocent Sunny, who watched all of this in patient silence said:
“That made me really sad”
“yes”, I responded, “it makes me sad too, but I had to stop”.
“I know, mom, it was the right thing to do, and Jesus loves that man as much as he loves you and me”.
Yes, He does.