A Cry for Help!

Image result for woman yelling

After a weekend of Mardi Gras celebrations, and a wonderful concert experience last night, I awoke to Ash Wednesday.  For those of you not Catholic or knowing what Ash Wednesday is:

Ash Wednesday is a Christian holy day of prayer and fasting. … Ash Wednesday derives its name from the placing of repentance ashes on the foreheads of participants to either the words “Repent, and believe in the Gospel” or the dictum “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

The service at the local Catholic church was at 9:00 am.  There will be others – but that was the one I chose to attend.  It’s been a while (a long while) since I have been in attendance.  As I entered the property in my car I noticed that quite a lot of vehicles were there.  I took this as a sign that there would be many in attendance.  So I parked further out and then walked to the entrance of the church.  As I got closer to the entryway, I came upon a nicely dressed but very agitated woman (my age) screaming at a red pick-up truck that was pulled up behind other parked cars near the entry.  “Thanks for taking up all the room so no one else can get through – you stupid, Alabama Redneck!”  I yelled to her to try to get her to stop, but she stormed off.  No reaction visible or heard from the truck but she stormed towards the front door.  On the other side of the property walking as I was I saw a young woman approaching the truck.  She opened the door and a 12 or so year old blond girl got out.  The girl was visibly shaken and almost in tears.  The woman asked her daughter if she was alright and the girl just shook telling her mom, “What was wrong?  What did we do to her?” 

I entered the church and tried to find the woman.  When I located her, she was sitting in the front next to a man who I assume was her husband. He wore a nurses hair net type cap; walked with a cane and had all appearance of someone on chemotherapy.  I then concluded that this woman was his caregiver and had reached her absolute wits end when all the close parking was occupied.    The mother of the girl said, “I think she owes my daughter an apology.”  I didn’t disagree – but there was so much about this that was confusing I decided that the best thing for me to do right then was to let go and let God.

I sat directly behind the woman who exploded earlier; in part to help if she needed it and in part to keep an eye out.  She was cheerful, singing, praying, caring for her loved one.  She displayed absolutely no trace of the hateful bitterness and bad behavior I witnessed with my own eyes and ears just moments earlier. 

I literally prayed for the hour that I would keep my mouth SHUT!  To not keep you all in suspense – I was successful. 

At the end of the service, the woman stood up to leave.  I asked her, “Do you need any assistance?”  “Oh no,” she said with a big smile.  “Are you sure?”  I asked her again.  “No – but thank you.” 

We all have our crosses to bear.  Life can push us to the absolute brink and then wham, one more thing and we snap like a dry-rotted rubber band.  It’s not about who or where – it’s the last straw.  Well, today’s lucky winner was the driver of this red truck and his daughter.  The driver, incidentally, a disabled veteran who was unable to walk to get his daughter out of the truck and was awaiting assistance .  He had a handicapped tag visible.  The angry woman – no disabled tag.  Just out of state plates.  She stopped in to this church knowing no one, and left a wake of upset in her path. 

This has nothing to do with it happening in a church parking lot – although that does surround the incident with even more irony.  It has nothing to do with the fact that both parties (as it turned out) had disabilities that they had to contend with.  It has everything to do with decency and manners.

Perhaps the lesson here, at least for me, is that if you need help – if you are on the brink of collapse – ASK FOR HELP.  Don’t attack the first person that you stumble on to release your pent-up tension.  And if all else fails – REPENT!

R-O-A-R!!!!! (IN A GOOD WAY)

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1 Comment

  1. Peggy Davis on February 27, 2020 at 4:17 am

    Ellen, you always move me with your words, but especially today!