Yesterday, as I drove home along a favorite tree-lined reservoir road, I saw something I had not before. Someone’s grandfather was walking along the somewhat sketchy shoulder with a couple of long poles, bag in hand. He was not in a hurry, nor did he appear uncomfortable, but he was quite a distance from any parked car, and this hour and place seemed like an unusual choice for a stroll. I observed him as I passed, and continued thinking about him a few more turns down the road. Then, I did a U-turn and came back. As I got out of my car, he smiled warmly, acknowledging my greeting. I asked him if he were OK, and he said he liked to walk this whenever he could. He then added, you are the second gal in five minutes to stop and offer help! After a few more happy exchanges, I proceeded on my way, satisfied that he was aware of his surroundings and actions. As the road was narrow, I drove back the direction I had first come to find a turning-around spot. There I saw another car pulled over, the driver clearly concerned about the elderly ambler. She had seen me talking with him, and she wondered if he were safe, and thinking clearly. We spoke a few moments, and then each went on our way. I waved as I passed the silvered walker the second time, and prayed to understand that he was and would continue to be safe in Love’s care that day.
The lesson to me of this small interchange is huge: In the short space of a few minutes, at least three different people saw something unusual and possibly unsafe for a fellow being, and were moved to take action to check in with that one. None of the potential helpers knew the man ahead of time, nor each other… acquaintance wasn’t the motivator. Concern and care for one’s fellow man was.
Isn’t that willingness to stop and step out evidence of divine Love present, here, now, alerting, guiding, calling to action? Love moves us. If Loved moved folks to check in with that veteran hiker, would it not be present in every situation, no matter how ordinary or how dire? I am so grateful for this simple reminder that that Love is here and will keep us safe. Love is compels action, on that road yesterday, and in every place.