Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Only One

"I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.”

--Helen Keller


It was an ordinary Thursday for me. It was payday and I was on my lunch break heading out to the bank to deposit my check. My mind certainly wasn’t prepared for what would happen in the next 15 minutes. I turned at the traffic light onto the frontage road of the highway and began making my way up over the slight incline just before I would merge into traffic and get to the bank before they got too busy. If I arrived after noon, I would never make it back to work on time.

That’s when I saw the door of the large SUV fling open. The woman driving yanked open the door behind her and began to flail and beat at something (or someone) in the seat. My heart was pounding so hard, and I clearly was told, “Stop and go back.”

“But God,” I said. “God, what am I supposed to do? What do I say?” No answer. I obediently pulled the car over, and backed it up to where the SUV was parked. By the time I got out of my car, the woman had gone to the other side of her vehicle and was now throwing things around on the other side, yelling and screaming profanities at her teenage daughter all the while.

I still had no idea what to do or what to say. At that point I simply told her that I could see she was very upset, very angry, and asked if there was something I could do to help. She turned around to look at me and spewed out, “You have no idea. You’ve never been in an abusive relationship.” I assured her that I had, and that I understood how it felt. I didn’t want to say too much beyond that at this point – my goal wasn’t to compare how bad each of us had it.

Again I asked her if I could help in any way, all the while desperately trying to make sure (WITHOUT her knowing it) there was no one in the vehicle that was hurt. I didn’t see or hear anything that lead me to believe that anyone was in immediate danger, so I continued to just talk to her.

I offered my phone number for her to call if she wanted someone to talk to. At that point, she visibly began to relax some…her body language was loosened, and she was no longer in full defensive mode. She simply turned around and thanked me. She thanked me for stopping. She said she knew it took a log of courage for me to do that. I could see her shoulders relax some. She was still upset, but the rage had gone out of her at that point.

She walked around to the driver’s side of her vehicle and got back in. I walked back to my own car, still very shaken by the whole ordeal. We both made our way into traffic – I got on the highway, she continued on the service road. We went our separate ways.

To this day, I have no idea what happened before I stopped to offer assistance, and I have no idea what happened after we parted. What I do know is that in the short amount of time that she and I communicated, her anger was defused. I simply did what I could, because I knew it was the right thing to do. I knew it was what I had been called to do. Perhaps what I did saved her daughter from some abuse; perhaps what I did caused her to re-think staying in an abusive relationship; or perhaps what I did had no effect on her situation whatsoever. Perhaps God didn’t intend for that to happen to help HER – perhaps he placed me in that situation so that I could learn about and experience obedience to Him. I’ll never know for sure.

Was I scared? You bet I was. But one of my favorite { Joyce Meyer } sayings is: { “Do it afraid!” } She goes on to say, “Many times we think we should wait to do something until we are no longer afraid, but if we did that, we’d probably accomplish very little for God, for others, or even for ourselves.” (Click on "Do it afraid" above for full article.) Stopping on the side of the road, to confront a possibly violent situation – not exactly the kind of thing I’m known for. I’m more the non-confrontational type.

I spent many years living in the mindset that many people do (dare I say the majority). You know it: “I’m only one person…what can I do? What difference can I make?” We shrug our shoulders and simply turn and walk away because we think that the thing we CAN do isn’t important – that it isn’t ENOUGH.

But what if you just went ahead and did what you COULD do anyway? The ripple effects might be nothing short of miraculous. Most of the time you will never know the final outcome or the effects of your action. That is the point at which you must know in your heart that you did what God guided you to do, and you then leave the rest up to Him.

So yes…
I am ONLY one…
But I AM one…
I cannot do EVERYTHING
But still I can do SOMETHING
And BECAUSE I cannot do everything…
I WILL NOT REFUSE to do the something I CAN DO.


Ruth Byington said...

Wow, Doris...I have tears in my eyes as I read this. Thank you for being obedient to the Holy Spirit and loving others extravagantly. That is why we are here....and without that, it is for nothing. I am so proud of you. Love you, sis! You're a true blessing, don't ever doubt it. And never feed the voices of lies of why you're not good enough. You have HIM inside of you. Everything you need. And He needs You. Love ya! Ruth

Doris said...

Ah, Ruth...thank you so much. Your response means so much to me. I'm learning every single day what it really means that I have the LIVING GOD in me. How humbling!

Janet Rose said...

Although you wrote this in August, it is indeed a word for me today! I am so thankful to God that He allowed me to read your post. Thank you, too, for sharing. And for the J.M. statement, "Do it afraid." I'll always be grateful!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...