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Jan 14

Thanks to Jerry I’m Glad I’m A Man

Posted on Friday, January 14, 2011 in Uncategorized

Oh, I know that after you read the headline the jokes are gonna come, but it’s true.

Last night I was drove home from work on a cold and snowy night. Snow-covered roads made driving a challenge. More than once I heard the rattling sound of my anti-lock brakes trying to slow my slide.

It was 11:00 P.M. and the roads were empty. I saw no one until I bent around the right curve of Brookdale Drive. There walking on the snow-caked sidewalks was a man. He walked I drove together we traveled in the same direction.

Though he wore a coat the man clearly had strong, broad muscular shoulders. In another setting he might have been imposing. Walking along alone in the silence of the snowy night he did not seem scary. In fact, he seemed vulnerable.

As the man walked he carried a fifty-gallon garbage bag. The bag was filled full. Even at thirty miles an hour I could tell that this bag of belongings burdened the strong man.

As I passed I felt the grasp of compassion fill me. I drove another hundred yards and turned around. I could not drive away from this man.

Turning my car around I headed back toward the man. I turned the Brookdale Drive curve and I saw the man. Overcome by weariness he had put the bag down. I pulled my minivan over.

“Would you like a ride?” I said.

With effort he picked up his bag.

I waited for him to arrive.

When he reached my minivan he opened the sliding door to set his bag down. Though he did not drop it, when he released his grip on the bag it landed with a heavy thud. This was a heavy bag. And, frankly, much to my delight it sounded like it did not contain a dead body.

While he sat down I said, “Hi, I’m Scott.” Through thick sweet alcohol-filled breath the man replied, “I’m Jerry. Thanks for stopping.” You’re welcome”, I said through my smile.

I turned the minivan around and asked where he was headed. Expecting to drive him to the bus station or another place some distance away Jerry simply said, “The gas station up there.”

“Okay, that’s fine, but they are about to close.” I cautioned.

“I have a ride coming.”

Persistent I asked, “Are you sure?” He was.

I drove the half-mile to the gas station. It was closed. Jerry didn’t mind. He seemed to have other concerns on his mind other than his comfort.

“Jerry, where would you like me to drop you off?”

In a definitive guy-kinda-way he said, “Anywhere will be fine.”

I pulled up to the most sheltered area and pulled over. Finally in the dimmed light of the darkened gas station I looked at jerry. He seemed to have a trail across his face. “A scar?”, I wondered silently.

Jerry expressed genuine gratitude and opened the door. Then — lit by the interior lights of the van — I could see that Jerry did not have a scar. He had a trail of thick, fresh blood winding across his face. Without staring I could see that blood had also run from his mouth recently. His lips were sticky with blood.  Most of all I saw that his ear had recently held an earring. It was gone. All that remained was a bloody hole.

Jerry stepped out of the van. “Thank you Scott.” He repeated again. With great effort Jerry picked up his bag which appeared to contain all of his belongings that he could carry.

We said our goodbyes and I drove away.

Tonight, because I did not feel that this large stranger would harm me, I gave him a ride. I would not have wanted any female friend or family member to take the same risk.

As I drove the rest of the way home I was glad tonight that I was a man.

Postscript – Please pray for Jerry and for whoever harmed Jerry. I imagine they both had a really, really bad night. I know that sometimes God does some amazing ridiculous healing of relationships.

Remember, O Lord, your compassion and unfailing love…
Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth.
Remember me in the light of your unfailing love,
for you are merciful, O Lord.

The Lord is good and does what is right;
he shows the proper path to those who go astray.
He leads the humble in doing right,
teaching them his way.

Psalm 25:6-9

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