I was raised with an understanding that because I am a girl, I always need to be aware of my surroundings. There are bad people out there that have every intent to hurt people. Girls are a prime target because generally we are physically weaker than men. So, I always make a point to be aware when I am alone or just with my boys. I do feel much safe when my husband is around because, well, he’s physically intimidating… I am not.
That being said… this is what happened to me yesterday. I’m sure it has happened to some of you, too. I guess that people think I was born yesterday or stupid.
I went to Wal-Mart. While the Wal-Mart experience is not something I revel in, I was almost giddy to be there, grocery shopping, without my boys. I know that you moms know what I mean… a true luxury to grocery shop without children, even if it is at Wal-Mart… with the “Wal-Mart people.” Anyway, it was thundering outside. I was trying to get my register-challenged cashier to hurry through the process so I could beat the rain.
That wish didn’t work out so well. So, I made my way to my car, umbrella in hand. I get to the car and start unloading my recyclable bags. Holding my umbrella with one hand unloading with the other. Mind you, to be safe, I already put my purse in the car with the groceries… trying to be smart in case someone pulls it out of the cart while I’m pre-occupied. I know, I’m a genius. HA!
Out of no where… because I was paying attention, I thought… this man appears right next to me. Now, he wasn’t threatening in appearance. He looked sad, missing some teeth, seemed nice enough… but he started with a story about needing gas money. His car was “just right there”… he’d run out of gas… his daughter was at Shands… and he just had to get to her… could I help him out? Um… sorry, no. I lied and told him I didn’t have any cash. He walked away. I felt no conviction from God that I had not helped him. I finished unloading and got in the car. The more I thought about it, the more irritated I got.
Here is my reasoning… what is the true likelihood that he was on his was to Shands? I mean, he ended up in the far side of the Wal-Mart parking lot and perfectly in a space. He wasn’t on the side of the road… or the interstate. And, giving him the benefit of the doubt… ok, he was running out of gas, wanted to get off the road so he pulled into the nearest place he saw… PROBLEM… if he would’ve turned the other direction, he would’ve turned into a GAS STATION.
So, my word to the cooks that want to approach women that are alone to beg for money… leave us alone, we aren’t stupid. I know that you might find some that will just throw money at you so that you will go away, but not this one. Come up with a better story. At least I would appreciate that you thought I was intelligent enough to not use the out of gas line. I’m still not giving you my money, but it might not have irritated me so much if you would just say, “I need a beer.”
I’ll wrap up this rant by just saying to all my women friends… be aware of what is around you… don’t believe every sob story you hear… it’s ok to help people.. it is also ok to say “no” sometimes. Think about your situation. If you open your purse to give a few dollars, will they see the rest you have, snatch your purse and run? You never know… pay attention!
“Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.” John 24:7