My Bad

image courtesy of

I can’t get the sight out of my head… or the regret… We were out of town, in a hurry to get somewhere and struggling to get around a blocked sidewalk. In hindsight the sidewalk detour probably wasn’t an accident, but the crowd and the sight caught me off guard and my instinct was to get my wife, who was just ahead of me, out of the traffic-filled street and back onto the sidewalk.

I was a little surprised by my reaction, or the lack of it. I’m usually good on my feet, but not that day, that day I didn’t even see her eyes… Nobody in the vicinity in those ten to thirty seconds did, her eyes were busy, on a mission… a mission of survival and she didn’t care who was watching. Her pride had been long since passed.

The thin, elderly woman in tattered jeans and worn out tennis shoes wasn’t begging or even asking for help, she had taken matters into her own hands, or at least was trying to… I respect that, but that’s no excuse for my not having offered to help a person that was clearly planted – literally smack in the center of my path.

Sure I would have had to hold up the detour traffic, but isn’t a person in need worthy of that, regardless of their position or belief? How many times does the busyness of life choke out the true meaning of it? It seems our minds and lives have become so over-filled by the items in life that were designed to save us time and restore normalcy.

That sidewalk reminds me of the road of our lives. It doesn’t have a warning sign that reads, “Warning! Backing Up May Cause Serious Damage!” There was nothing to stop me from going back and offering the elderly lady a hand. So it is with the road of our lives, we can change directions, back up and do the right things with the right heart.

Sure we’ve missed some exits and turns, but there’s always more, at least while there is road in front of us. Those exits and delays are like rest stops and gas stations to our soul. We find the stranded and broken down people and offer them the same supernatural fuel from God that powers us. When we do we’re rested and gratified in the service of others.

You know, for the life of me I can’t remember where it was we were in such a hurry to get to? Seems by not taking the time to refuel at the exits and rest stops ordained by God, we’re risking running out of fuel… or worse yet… road…

The image in my mind of the elderly lady I walked by on that clear summer day will serve as my low fuel level warning light… If she’s low on fuel, so am I… I can only imagine what her face looked like…my bad…

Buried deep inside that trash can…