A day or two before Christmas I was doing something that I truly don’t like to do. I was delivering and returning. It was this store, that store, the post office, one after another for a few hours, all the while wanting to be doing something else with my time. I was pretty anxious to be done and get home. The last stop on the list was Walmart. When I drove into the parking lot, I saw a person using a walker walking out of the store. I slowed the car down to a crawl thinking that the person would be out of the way by the time I got there. Not the case, this man was severely handicapped and moving at a very slow pace. Each step was made with great effort. I stopped and waited for him to cross. He looked over at me and waived in an apologetic way. Watching him, my thoughts of being in a rush and frustrated seemed to melt away. After he crossed, I found a parking spot a long way from the storefront and went in to return an item. On my way into the store, I noticed that this same man was standing by a car trying to get his keys off a carabiner that was hooked to his belt loop. I figured since he was at his car, he would soon be on his way. Once in the store and seeing a long line and only one clerk at the customer service desk, my impatience returned. I didn’t even hesitate, and I left the store. When I got outside, I saw the same man. He was still in the same spot fumbling with his keys. I had the thought to go ask if he needed help, but didn’t want to embarrass, offend, or bother. Really, I don’t know why I didn’t go over and talk to him, but I just went on to my car. After I got to my car, I still had the feeling that I should go ask if he needed help. I drove up the aisle where he was standing, parked my car, got out and asked him if he needed help. He said he couldn’t find his car. All the handicap spots were taken when he arrived. He had parked somewhere else and couldn’t remember where. In an apologetic way, he was very accepting of my help. He told me the make, model and color of his car. Off I went, up and down the rows of parked cars where he was standing figuring that he was at least in the general area. I didn’t have any luck on the first row or the one next to it. I was only gone for a few minutes. When I returned, another lady was talking to him, who had gotten his license plate number. He gave me his car keys which had a remote keychain with his license plate number. I again went hunting for his car. Three rows over from where he was, I found the car. I went back and walked with him to its location. This gave us a chance to visit for a few minutes. He had been in an accident 16 years ago. He was doing much better than the doctors had ever thought he would. He hadn’t progressed as much as he had hoped, but is grateful that he has his own apartment and for the most part is independent. What a nice man he was. I plan to stop by his apartment complex with the goal of running into him again to spend a little more time visiting.
He thanked me and apologized over and over for taking the time to help him. I told him that I was glad I could help. In reality, he was the one who had helped me. During this 20-30 minutes of visiting, I had forgotten all about running errands. His circumstance was like a knock to my head, reminding me of how blessed I am and how I need to appreciate the little things that are the most important in my life. God places opportunities before me to help me to learn and grow. I am sure that some I recognize and others I miss. I hope to become better at slowing down and listening to the spirit and then acting on the promptings. This opportunity brings to mind two scriptures about sharing the gifts that our Father in Heaven has given everyone. “Think of your brethren like unto yourselves, and be familiar with all and free with your substance, that they may be rich like unto you.” (Jacob 2:17) Also, the experience brings to mind the very familiar scripture found in Matthew 25:35-40 about how we help the Savior when we help others. Sharing of our substance is a Christ-like act that is simple yet rewarding.