Monday of last week, I drove to the house of a friend to visit. It was about 30 miles away. I was almost there, when I turned onto a country road and passed by a young man waking the other direction (towards me, heading out to the main road). He was visibly shaken….crying. I didn’t stop to ask him if he needed help, because he was being followed at a snails pace by a man in a truck. I figured it had to be a family matter. People around these parts are country, quiet, and value their privacy. Still, he made eye contact with me as I drove by. And I’ll never forget his eyes. I saw hopelessness in them. And I kept on driving. I spent a couple of hours with my friends and then drove home in the dark, the same way I came.
I read the news today, and found out that the next day, a young man named Cody, I found out, was reported missing. I recognized his picture as the young man who I had seen on that road just a few hours before. The news went on to say he had been found dead on Saturday, just a few feet from that road. They think he died from exposure to the elements.
I can’t help but want to blame myself. I could have stopped and asked him if he needed a ride somewhere. He might have said no, but I’ll never know because I didn’t stop to ask him. And why? Because I was afraid of stopping, because he was being followed already by what seemed to be someone he knew.
I doubt I’ll ever ignore an indigent soul again because of this.
I hope you watched the video. As you go through your day, and come across people who seem lost and angry, bitter, scared, shunned, and searching for hope…be brave enough to look with caring eyes.