Coming out of dinner tonight my friends and I met a girl getting ready to cross the street. More accurately, she caught our attention. We were getting ready to cross the other way through the intersection when one of us heard a thud. This thud was the sound of this pink girl (I name her pink girl because 1. I never learned her name and 2. she had distinctively pink hair) falling less than majestically onto the concrete sidewalk beneath her. She was quite literally, face down and curled up on the ground. We tried to check on her. Are you ok? Do you want some water? Maybe you should sit down for a bit. Did it really matter what we said? Did any of those words matter?
She got up and started making an attempt to cross the street. Mind you, this was a big intersection. The pedestrian crossing counter starts at 24. There were cars not so mindfully driving by. She was going to try to cross this, in the state she was in? Seemingly semi-conscious, half of the time lying on the ground, constantly stumbling. She said she lived just down the street. Ok, we could at least get her across the street.
We make it across the street. The selfish, or perhaps fearful, part of me wants to be able to say she’s ok now, she can make it from here. It’s late, we’re tired, my friends have a ways to get home. Once across though, she immediately falls – almost comfortably, it seems strange to me how effortless it is – on her stomach onto the closest patch of grass of the business plaza. We can’t leave her like this. What street do you live on? We can walk you there. It’s ok. I’m thinking, you don’t have to do this alone. How did she get here? We just want to make sure she’s ok. Let me go grab my car. This is too long of a walk. She keeps falling over herself every other step.
Then fear begins to set in. What if she doesn’t live on that street? What if someone is waiting for her there and will do something bad to her? What if she will do something bad to us? We call the cops because we don’t know what to do. She seems intoxicated, maybe some substance abuse too. So much is happening so fast. We just want to make sure she’s ok. The police officer comes. He asks her questions. She responds. I’m glad she wasn’t driving. And that she’s sitting still. God, I don’t know what to do but to pray for her. I don’t even know what to pray about exactly except that she is going to be ok.
I know nothing about this girl. Dropping my friends off at their car and heading home, I see the officer is still with her. I will continue to pray. I wonder what her life situation is like right now? How was she alone? Did she wander out by herself, leave a group of friends, something else? Only 22. Arrested before already. How did she get into this way? What suffering is she holding within her right now? I imagine God just holding her, cradling her in His arms right now.
Pink Girl, you don’t have to do it alone. I don’t know you, but I know your pain. Something we all share. Thank you for reminding me that in the midst of real suffering, it doesn’t matter who you are, where you came from, where you’re trying to go even. It doesn’t matter if I know you or not, if I agree with your way of life or not, if we ever cross paths again or not. I just have to help you through this, in this moment, because God has brought us together right now. This moment – your moment – also becomes my moment. Our moment, echoing so clearly that we just have to help each other. We all have to help each other.
You may never know what you did for me tonight, so much more than what I could do for you. Thank you, Pink Girl.