Late Sunday night I did something most people would say was really dumb. Well probably everyone would agree it was dumb, even I do. And I do admit from time to time I do dumb things but in this case I am blaming it on pastors. Yep, that's right, I need someone to blame and this one I'm pinning on pastors! You see I read this book awhile back were a pastor said he realized the only people he knew were already Christians. So how was he suppose to share Christ? That really convicted me! I need to find people who need Christ! Then a few months ago I heard a sermon on how we are suppose to give to the needy. It then went on to say it's not our problem what is done with the money we give, that is God's problem. We are just called to give. Which doesn't even make sense because we should be good stewards of our money...but anyway that sermon stuck with me none the less.
Fast forward to Sunday night in the parking lot of our grocery store. I had just finished grocery shopping when a rather shady looking lady approached me as I was loading the bags into my car. She said she needed help and seemed very distressed. She started to cry and said her friend had just left her in the parking lot and she needed diapers for her kid and she had no way to get home. She asked if I had 10 dollars because she needed to buy diapers. I said no, I wasn't going to give her ten dollars but I offered to let her use my phone to call a friend to come get her. She called a few people but of course no one was able to help her out.
She then asked me if I could just give her a ride to a friends house who lived a few minutes down the road. I didn't have the kids with me and I had grand visions of becoming best friends with who I guessed was most likely a heroin addict. And she was super skinny like heroin addicts are so I figured I could take her if she tried anything! So I told her to hop on in, I'd love to take her!
Once we were in the car she pulled two big packages of steaks out of her purse. She said she had been in the grocery store with her friend and they were buying steaks for supper for her kids when her friend had left her and taken off in the car with all her money and her phone leaving her stranded! She said she rushed out of the store to catch her but she was already gone. She mentioned food stamps, so I assumed that's what she had used to buy the steaks. She also mentioned rice spilling out in the parking lot but she had just left it because she trying to catch her friend. So in my head I assumed her bag must have torn and that's why she had put the steaks in her purse. All very logical, right? Right.
She then guided me to a house who she said was friends with the friend who had left her but there was no one home. This whole time she continued to be very upset and almost in tears saying that she just needed diapers and didn't know how she was going to get home to her kids. She kept offering the steaks to me for money so she could buy diapers but I wasn't interested.
She continued to used my phone and kept calling people. She then had me stop at a bar...at least that's what she said it was. Where she ran in for a few minutes to see if anyone would buy the steaks off of her so she could get diapers. But that didn't work out...shocking I know.
Then we went on to her "uncles" house so he could give her a ride home. She had me wait while she went to see if he was home. She came back a few minutes later and said he was there but he didn't have a car to take her home, his wife had it at work. She then asked me if I would just take her home, which I was thrilled to do because I was rather tired of driving around to random places for nothing.
We continued to talk and she shared a little about herself and stopped acting so upset. She kept asking me if I would buy a steak off her and saying how she needed diapers. Finally I gave in and took a package of steaks and gave her 20 dollars. I really didn't want the steaks but figured it was better than just giving her money (I do dumb things sometimes...ok!?). I then drove her "home" but she said to just drop her off at a gas station. I refused and said I wanted to take her to her home. So she had me take a few more turns and then pull over and said her house was just across the road. She then got out, crossed the road and disappeared down a side street.
As I watched her disappear I realized I'd been had. Clearly she didn't live here and my money would not be used for diapers. However I tried to look on the bright side which was in all our driving around we ended up passing my church and I pointed it out to her. I also asked her if I could pray for her before she left which she was happy to let me do. So she got 20 dollars, a prayer and I had an empty gas tank and a steak.
On my way home I realized I'd now have to tell my husband that I had just spent the last hour driving around a heroin addict and then handed her 20 dollars.
When I got home Adam's reaction was...well less than thrilled. Less than impressed...he was not happy in any way that I had put myself in danger...she could have taken me anywhere. And he was in awe that I was so dumb to have believed her tall tales. He said "Rachel!! She stole those steaks!!!" My response? "Ohhh...that makes sense."
Adam took those steaks out of the freezer and thew them away. He would not be eating stolen food and he then called the grocery store and reported her. Sure enough they had her and her friend on video stealing the steaks. I felt rather sheepish. How did I not realize that?? I think I was so swept up in my desire to help her I just kept assuming the best. Silly me.
I had to write up a description of what she looked like and give the grocery store security department all the numbers she had called. Now the police are after her and last I heard they have identified her friend and are working on figuring out who she is.
So I have gone from wanting to become her friend to helping the police hunt her down. Ah well. I still have grand dreams that they will find her and then I will be able to visit her in jail and tell her about the love of Christ. As my brother said, my heart was in the right place. Clearly just not my brain.