Sometimes we're called to drop everything and just be there....
I was here at my computer by 8 AM today, reading and responding to emails, scanning news, administrative chores....you know. It took longer than normal, so at 10 AM, I was still unshowered and undressed. My hair was a disregarded mess.
I have much to do today. Possible articles on Amtrak funding and a profile of the Governor of Arizona. Research, planning, writing. Deadlines, quotas and missed news events.
Our neighbor, Don, knocked on our front door just as I sat down to a 10-minute dish of yogurt and freshly brewed Seattle's Best. Something was wrong. He was stressed...shaken and pale.
He'd been in a car accident in Long Beach...couldn't find the key to his house. No one was home. Don, a sixtyish grandfather, was trembling. He'd refused to go to the hospital, and caught a ride with the towing driver. He seemed confused.
He and I sat in our living room for an hour this morning. I listened as he talked and worried and called, and talked and worried more. Said his heart was beating hard, and he wanted his wife to take him to their doctor. He refused breakfast, but relaxed a bit when sharing family stories. He rushed gratefully out when Barb got home.
It's so easy to focus on our stuff, and not on our neighbors. I was a mess....spotted workshirt pulled over crummy t-shirt and blue jeans. No make-up. No morning exercise. No breakfast. Running behind in work. Concerned about my son and his wife, concerned about bills. Normal life.
The parable of the Good Samaritan teaches us to stop and help someone in need, and not walk past, preoccupied with our agendas. So I did.
They went to church with us on Christmas Eve. Maybe sometime soon, we'll invite them again. Maybe he's more ready to hear next time.