Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What Would You Do?

I went to the grocery store today. As I pulled into a parking spot, a young man approached my car and knocked on the driver's side window. As I rolled down the window, he began to assure me that he wasn't some nut, he was in some trouble and needed help. I listened as he told me his story. He was from out of town, and had come into the city for a dentist appointment. He showed me his prescription that he had just picked up for antibiotics. His manner was that of desperation. Explaining that he was a single dad with a young daughter, he then told me that his daughter would be at that time getting off the school bus, expecting him to pick her up. He had tried to reach a neighbour to see to his daughter, but was unable to.

His main problem was that he was going to take a cab home, as he had missed his ride, and the cab company insisted on having the fare upfront. He had money at home, but did not have enough on him at the time. As he continued to reassure me that it was all up front, I told him it was ok, I would help him.

His relief was obvious. I believed him. I didn't see any reason not to. He got in the car and we drove to a bank machine, where I took out the money that he needed. He promised to repay the money, and I gave him my name and address so he could mail a cheque. I gave him a card with my name, email and blog address. He was in obvious pain from the dentist visit, and explained that his tooth was infected and he would have to wait until the infection cleared, and then he could have it pulled. I asked if he had anything for pain, but he explained that he was a recovering drug addict and did not take any pain meds, even plain tylenol. As we waited for a red light, I asked him if I could pray for him. He agreed without hesitation.The right side of his face was quite swollen, and I gently placed my hand on it and asked Jesus to please heal him and take away his pain.

I dropped him off where he could catch his taxi, and he again thanked me profusely. Now, I know that many people would think I had taken a terrible risk, but I did not hesitate to help him. His plight was real, and my heart went out to him, a single dad trying to make it after escaping a life of drug addiction. Later I wished that I had driven him home myself.

So Adam, if you read this, please let me know how you made out. I hope your daughter was ok. Leave a comment, or send me an email. I will be praying for you, and it was a pleasure to meet you and give you a helping hand.

1 comment:

Suppresst said...

"Con" man is short for "confidence" man. A confidence man is someone who perfects the art of building confidence in others about himself, the con man. You did take a terrible chance. Exactly what risk was this man concerned about protecting his daughter from? Was it not from confidence men who lure little girls into their snares?

Paul makes clear that it is not valid Christian charity to relieve someone else in such a way that you place yourself in the precarious position you are seeking to relieve that someone else from (2 Corinthians 8:13).

You should have called the police to alert them to attend to the vulnerability of this man's daughter, or at most given this man money without allowing him in your car (gone to the ATM alone). The latter is risky because he could have pulled a gun on you at some point.

The reason we know the outcome of this story is you are alive to relate it. For every one story like this one, there are ten thousand that cannot be told because the victim didn't live to tell it.

By the way, the Good Samaritan did not expose himself needlessly to physical harm - what he did was greatly inconvenience himself; there is a difference. Nowadays, the Good Samaritan would call an ambulance, would he not?