Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I'd been there before

Saw a woman crying yesterday. Absolutely bawling. We pulled up to a stoplight at the same time and she leaned her head on the steering wheel. When she leaned her head back on the neck rest that’s when I saw them…the tears. They were relentlessly streaking down her face to the point where her breathing looked labored and she was heaving as if she would choke. I could tell she was screaming and sobbing loudly. I blew my horn, rolled down the passenger side window and gave her the ok sign as if to ask if she was ok. She shook her head no.

I asked her if I could help and again and she rolled her window down and again she shook her head no. With that I wanted to just reach out and hug her. I told her her that I was praying for her right as we were talking (and I was) and then they came…The tears..this time the tears were mine. She looked over at me and saw me wipe away my face and then before she rolled back up her window she slightly smiled and said “thank you young lady, thank you so much for crying with me”. I’ll be fine, just keep praying. With that she drove off and I sat at the light a moment before horns behind me started to blare.

“Thank you for crying with me”. I never had anyone tell me that before. Somehow those tears meant more to her than anything else that I could do for her. She didn’t thank me for asking if she was ok, or for the prayer…just gratitude that I for a moment although our pain may be different I allowed myself to be affected by the pain of someone that I didn’t even know. But she was wrong I did know her. She was me. I’d been there before. I didn’t try to pump her up, or give her the slogan for the day, I just simply allowed myself to be touched with the feeling of her infirmity. Even as I type this, the tears well back up in my eyes. I still wonder what was wrong. Did she lose her job? Did she have a breakup? Did someone physically hurt her? Was she out of money? Did she feel depressed or out of control or hopeless? Did she lose a loved one? Was she or someone in her family just diagnosed with something? It may have been one thing? It could have been a combination of pain. But when I saw her…I knew one thing for sure… I’d been there before.

All the things I wondered about her I had experienced or am experiencing. I know that pain, I know that “pound the steering wheel with your head”, scream at the world kinda cry that noone can understand even if you could explain it. Which is why when I saw it in her, I was immediately equipped with what she needed to be encouraged; The ability to feel what she felt and simply cry. Sure, I prayed for her and had she pulled over I would have given her both barrels, but GOD knew already that she didn’t need all that.

That’s why He sent me with all of my faults and failings to be the instrument he used to simply cry with another one of his children. Her semi-smile made me thank God for the humility that keeps creeping up everytime I think I may want to get haughty or soapboxy. As the old song said..”There’s always something there to remind me”. But for the grace of God, that woman driving into whatever turmoil she had to face, could just as well been me. And when its my turn to lean my head on the steering wheel again..I know I’ll have some prayer warriors interceding..but I hope to be blessed enough to have just one person to be there and not say anything, with a tissue and a hug…and a few tears.


God's girl said...

WOW! This is an incredible post! I could totally see the woman as you wrote because that woman was also me. What an amazing touch you must have had on that woman's life that day!!! Brings a whole new meaning to the verse "Jesus wept". Makes you wonder if when He "pulls up to our heart" and sees us crying, if He's there crying with us...


Anonymous said...

Just yesterday, I was told I may have cancer. I had a painful procedure done and left the medical building crying. People looked away when they saw me and not one person asked if I was okay.

I totally "get" how grateful she was towards you for caring.