I went to Mass yesterday and was praying quietly for a few minutes afterwards when I saw a young woman approach the altar and start praying. I had a sudden and very distinct urge/feeling/compunction to help her. It was like I knew she needed help. I don't know how I knew this. But since it happened in church I was all: OK, maybe this is the Holy Spirit?
I am learning not to question these things but just go do something about it.
I followed her out of the church thinking things like: Oh, dude, she's going to think I'm stalking her! This is weird! What if I freak her out?
I said: "Excuse me."
"Yes?" she turned around. It was hard to tell how old she was because she had a young face but lots of gray hair.
"Hi, I'm Elizabeth," I said.
She was looking at me like maybe I was a crazy person. I don't blame her. I was ACTING like a crazy person!
And then, just to REALLY freak her out I said this:
"The Holy Spirit told me to ask you how I can help you today."
She just sorta stared at me.
OMG, DID I REALLY JUST SAY THE HOLY SPIRIT TOLD ME TO OFFER HELP?? OMG! I'm turning into one of those crazy Jesus-y people!!!
I slowed down and just smiled at her. She smiled back. I patted her shoulder. Something changed between us, something softened.
"What do you need today?" I asked, very gently.
She shrugged. "I don't need anything."
OK, she's still scared.
"Alright, well, then I'll just pray for you."
"What's your name?"
"OK, Holly, well then. How can I pray for you?"
"Um. I don't know."
I paused and allowed myself to look at her. I was suddenly overwhelmed with complete compassion. I don't know why. I realized I was freaking her out a little (sometimes I can be an overwhelming, intense personality). I backed off.
"Well, then I hope to see you sometime soon and have a wonderful day!"
"OK, you too!" she said, sounding relieved.
I got in my car and started driving away. I felt like a total idiot.
I saw her walking on the street. And it hit me: I know what she needs! A RIDE!
I rolled down my window with a big grin on my face and said:
"Holly, do you need a ride?"
She broke into a huge smile, nodding her head emphatically:
She literally jogged across the street and hopped into my big ol' Mommy Suburban. She was so happy! And I was so happy I wanted to hug her. We grinned at each other.
Turns out, her bike had blown a tire that morning. She works at a fast-food restaurant and her bike is her only means of transportation. She'd chained her bike up at the bike shop and while waiting for the shop to open, walked all the way to Mass (a good 30 minute walk) where this strange woman named Elizabeth Esther asked her if she needed any help.
And yep, she needed a ride to the bike shop so she could get her bike fixed and go to work. So, I drove her to the bike shop.
I know giving someone a ride is not a big deal, really. But dude. My life is turning upside down! Giving clothes away, helping random people, loving this whole wide world! I never knew faith could be such a wonderful, exciting adventure!!