I have a problem …
See yesterday was driving home from work. It was about 4:30. The sun was getting ready to set in about half an hour. It was cold. The wind was blowing and it was snowing.
As I was pulling up to this light near New Life Church, there was a guy standing by the side of the road. He had shoulderlength hair and was kind of scruffy looking. (Although that’s a pretty typical look for guys in this state.) Anyway, he was standing at the edge of the road and there was a truck a few feet behind him. He was holding out jumper cables. And he looked desperate.
The light was red, so I stopped and watched him in my mirror. He would motion to every car that went by with the jumper cables. Nobody stopped. I sat there at the light, trying to decide if I should turn around and try to help him. I watched probably 20 cars roll past him without even glancing at him. And when the light turned green, I drove away. And for the rest of the ride home (and the rest of the evening, actually) I felt horrible for not stopping.
So here’s my question. Did I make the right decision? Because if I did, it felt pretty awful. Which makes me think maybe I didn’t.
But I was alone. I’m a woman. If I had had someone else in the car with me, I would have stopped. If I had some pepper spray with me, I would have stopped. If I was a guy, I would have stopped. If he had been a woman, I would have stopped. I didn’t stop because I was afraid of becoming the next day’s headline.
I hate the fact that we live in a society where I can’t stop and help someone because I’m afraid of what might happen to me. And how do I justify not stopping with the command in the Bible to help those in need? He was obviously in need and I had the ability to help him. But I didn’t.
So help me out here. To you married guys out there, would you want your wife stopping to help a random guy who was stranded? Is it any different because I’m not married? Should I, as a single woman, have stopped? What really is more important … protecting myself or helping someone in need? And how does my choice to protect myself fit with the verse about treating others as I would like to be treated? And putting others before myself? Should I have trusted to the Lord to protect me?
I’m seriously struggling with this. Any thoughts?