Faith in huMANity
As I came to the first red light on the way to work this morning, I was stunned to see a car stalled between it and the busy highway which I was waiting to turn on. An elderly lady with a desperate look on her face sat in the drivers seat on the phone, and her husband sat slumped in the passenger seat with a blank look on his face. The ass-end of their car sat poised in the busy intersection of the highway, just waiting to be t-boned. She’d even called the cops, who still hadn’t showed by the time I left a half-hour later.
When I finally got her attention I asked if her car was stalled, she replied yes. I asked her to hang on since I was forced to make the green light turn. Maneuvering a quick U, I pulled in front of her, ran back to their car and asked her to put it in neutral. I immediately took note of the incline it would have to be pushed up – even though I had doubts about handling it alone, knew I had to try anyway. They always say adrenaline kicks in the moment you need it, and these people desperately needed to be moved out of a very busy intersection of a highway. The cars came and went, some honking and rapidly switching lanes to avoid hitting us at the last minute. I finally had to face the brutal stomach-sinking reality that I couldn’t move the car by myself. I started locking eyes with passerby cars who came to rest at that red light, spotted what I thought was a guy, and waved them down. Lo and behold, the door opened and out popped a female. I yelled over to her that we needed to find a man, but she ran over anyway and became my teammate.
Inch by slow inch, we made tiny progress. We both put our entire body weights into it, which even combined didn’t seem enough to get the job done. The elderly disabled husband began exiting the car very slowly (as we were moving it). I noticed his arms didn’t work – they just hung to his sides. I tried to get him to step to the side but he wouldn’t. He leaned his back end into it and did what he could, bless his heart.
My cohort and I proceeded to inch the car along, with it coming to rest every few seconds. Her and I didn’t speak, but every time the car stopped I knew we were thinking the same thing – we both had to fight to keep it from reversing backwards on us. I truly believe it was God’s hand that helped us push that car upward…
For the next 20 minutes, car after car whizzed past us while we expended every bit of energy we had to get the car up the hill. Once we got her pulling into the grass, a van stopped and a man got out. With three bodies pushing, the car finally came to rest safely in the grass.
When it was all over and I was back in my car, I found myself beyond infuriated. Why, you may ask? It’s simple, really. WHERE THE HELL WERE ALL THE MEN?? I mean, are you serious? Out of the scores of cars that passed us in that 20 minutes, my money’s certainly not riding on the fact that they were all female. This includes all the ones at the red light who were already safely stopped, who came and went.
I know of a good many men that I feel sure would have stopped and leant their strongarms. I’m hoping that chivalry is indeed not dead and the people I encountered this morning who ‘opted out’ were not in the majority of the population. This chance encounter only dimmed that hope, unfortunately.
It does leave one to wonder where all of the “real men” are now.
February 20, 2013 at 1:39 pm
I can’t help it – I’m still stunned.
February 20, 2013 at 1:41 pm
I can’t believe that no one else stopped. Where are the men!? I’m so glad that you were going by at that time!
February 20, 2013 at 3:40 pm
I still can’t believe it either, Cassandra. I’m glad the outcome was positive, for sure.
February 20, 2013 at 5:43 pm
You were an instrument of grace and mercy to this couple, as was your team mate(s).
All people, male and female, are born with a weak character and a selfish heart. Regardless of what we see and what we do–the acts of grace and mercy, the good deeds of mankind and the provision of a loving God–our hearts still remain selfish and paralyzed with fear and insecurity.
There will always be pain in this world, will always be reasons for anger. There will always be Love, mercy and grace.
Thank you for being an instrument of grace and mercy, willing to push and shove against the weight of impossibility.
February 21, 2013 at 7:58 am
Thank you for your ever-kind words, Debbie. I wouldn’t change anything and would do it again ten times over – and hold the hope that someone would be there for me in a time of need. I guess I need to get over the overwhelming shock of a male not stopping that entire time. Instances such as these tend to eat at me more than they should. Blessings to you, my friend.
February 21, 2013 at 9:50 am
In this fast paced world of instant messaging, movies and music on demand, Wikipedia, we now have the whole world at our finger tips so that we need only a few seconds before moving on to the next mindless task. Personally, I’m convinced it all started with the microwave. There are many who will make conscious decisions to dismiss someone’s need for assistance out of selfishness or possibly even with the thought that someone else will/should help. And for others, it might not even occur to them to lend a hand. These are sad testaments to what life has become in this digital world we live in and regrettably, I’ve been guilty of both. Is one worse than the other or are they equally offensive? Is one borne of the other, and if so, which one? I suppose arguments could be made for all sides of this debate. It is very refreshing, though, to read about what you and your sister in compassion did for people you don’t even know. And although one selfless act does not undo all the thoughtlessness in the world, it is a stirring act of kindness that gives the rest of us hope for humanity.
February 25, 2013 at 6:37 pm
I know what you mean there, Dave – and I’ve been guilty of both as well. Maybe with age has come the softening of my emotions, so to speak. My heart broke for this couple, and I’ve always had a soft spot for the elderly anyway. Maybe I just hit it on a bad day. 🙂
February 26, 2013 at 10:38 am
Bon, you did an amazing thing for that old couple! I’m very proud of you!! I can tell you where all the REAL men are…. In Pineville and Indian Land. The men here always stop to help. They are called Rednecks who drive pick ’em up trucks and wear John Green hats, but they are the first to stop and color makes no difference at all. So go ahead and call me a Redneck, but I can count on my Redneck men!! I love them!! I’m sorry about what happened to you, but YES there are good men out there!! Love ya. 🙂
February 26, 2013 at 1:27 pm
Loved hearing this, Helen. I must have really just hit it on a bad day… I’ve never experienced an instance of a man not stopping to help. I’m not one of these ‘libbers’ who doesn’t believe in asking for help when it comes to brut strength – as a female, I admit that’s one area I lack in. 🙂 Love ya!
March 1, 2013 at 9:55 am