Monday, September 26, 2011

Lost Opportunities

I'm feeling a little guilty tonight. I had an opportunity to maybe really help someone, and I blew it. I'm feeling especially bad because I feel that this is what I do, what I've always been meant to do, and yet I let the moment pass; because I was too concerned with myself.

A young Asian woman approached my car as I was ordering food at a drive-in, waving at me through the window and then walking over to the driver's side. I already knew what she was about. Dressed presentably, with the black strap and bag over the shoulder; I'd seen this before. A Moonie; a devotee of the notorious cult leader Rev. Sun Myung Moon. A waste of time. And she of course wants to waste my time, and solicit for money. Well, I'm a little busy. I showed her my debit card and told her that's all I had (which was the truth). Of course, they take credit cards. Well, there is no way I'm giving her a credit card number. She looks in my car and eyes a box of food on the seat. Is she hungry? She asks if I have even any change, and I say I do not (again, true). So she steps back, gives me a polite half-bow and thank you, and then is on her way.

I pull over, and try to organize myself, and began to think about how I know that she is being deceived, and that she does not even know it, soliciting donations for Rev. Moon at 9:15 in the evening on a Sunday night. I've talked to these people before, at the front door, and when you tell them that you know who they are, they admit to it, but cannot see that they are being used for a gigantic LIE, because they are so deeply enthralled by the message and indoctrination of Rev. Moon. My heart began to ache for the young woman. I should have talked to her. I should talk to her. So I drove down the street, looking for her.

After a while, I saw her again, entering one business, and then walking back out maybe one minute later. Then she entered another place, another Asian restaurant, and stayed in there for maybe five to seven minutes. Good. Maybe they are feeding her. Maybe she is having success at collecting donations. Then she eventually comes out, and moves on further down the street, to a large Asian shopping center, in which most of the business have closed for the night. I am hesitant about approaching her now, not wanting to cause her fear or think that I have bad intentions, and I am afraid now too. Does she know that I am following her in my car? I don't think so, but I am beginning to feel kind of creepy about it. I usually don't do this sort of thing. She moves from one place to yet another Asian restaurant I believe, across the lonely parking, and disappears. I look around a few more times, go up and down the street once or twice, and come to believe that, or really hope that, someone has taken compassion upon her, and is maybe feeding her and talking to her, perhaps even in her own language. I don't see her anymore, and I head for home.

I had planned to giver her a little money; find an ATM somewhere; and talk to her. Not a romantic interest, but more of just seeing someone who obviously is unknowingly lost, and trying to talk a little about it. Just planting a seed, maybe something said, or maybe just the act of caring. Days, weeks, months or even years later, just a small something that might be a little contribution toward ending the lot of someone who is in slavery, and who does not realize it, and then just maybe beginning the process of their freedom. We only have a finite time, here on this earth. To rearrange or re-start a life that has been diverted, or to reach out and help someone who has been placed in front of you for this very purpose. Do not be like me, and let the moment pass. Life is too short, and Grace only rarely makes an appearance within it.