or maybe the clueless assisting the clueless – at any rate, such was the situation I found myself in today; me being the blind, clueless one attempting to assist the one in need. Now I’m sure there is someone better qualified out there somewhere; but I was the one available at the time, no one else was around.
It was the confused look on his face that first got my attention as I exited my car, intending to run a quick errand in the store and be on my way. He seemed to be wandering the parking lot, as I watched, searching for something. That something, I assumed was his car. How often have I forgotten where I parked? Still, he was moving slowly, looking discouraged and I wondered how long he had been hunting for his car. It was midday and the sun was hot on the asphalt parking lot.
I struck up a conversation with this elderly gentleman saying that I too could often not find my car in these big, busy parking lots. I asked him what kind of a car he was looking for. Little did he know that coming from me, this is really a ridiculous question. Why? Because to me, a car is basically four tires and a color. My categories of recognition are; truck, van, jeep, SUV and car, color being the differentiating factor in any category. Make and model mean nothing to me visually. They all look alike. (now you understand the title of this post)
He informed me we were looking for a metallic blue Pontiac. OK Blue, I can do. I know blue. It’s surprising how many blue cars there can be in a parking lot on any given day. Who knew? Noticing that his cart was full of groceries, I suspected that he had wandered farther than I first realized, because the grocery entrance to the store was aways over from where we were currently. I, being the anomaly, always park in the section of the parking lot I come to first, use that store entrance, walk through the store to the groceries, then walk back through the store to exit where I first entered. (trying to get my ten thousand steps I guess, even though I don’t wear a fit bit) But most grocery shoppers park closer to the grocery entrance.
So much for my deductive reasoning skills. As we headed back toward the cars closer to the grocery entrance, I enlisted the help of a young man who was rounding up the carts from the parking lot to return them to inside the store. Young guys know cars, right? He could probably help us. Sure enough, first thing he asked was for the gentleman to use the “clicker” or whatever you call that thing attached to the car keys that locks and unlocks the car and makes that beep with the lights flickering when it does so.
Now in quiet darkness this would have been a surefire plan. But at high noon on a sunny, July day in a noisy, crowded parking lot we were not going to see or hear anything, even though we tried. And so the search continued. We split up, (I could move faster and cover more ground) with me running up to any vehicle that I thought looked to be metallic blue and trying to read any names written on it, in order to discover what kind of a car it actually was. Hoping each time that it would read, “Pontiac”, I continued my search.
This poor, unfortunate man. His frozen foods were defrosting fast. I was sure if he knew the truth about me, his would be rescuer, he would realize that his helper needed help. Half the time I don’t even recognize my own car in any given parking lot. I approach a car of the same color and approximate size as mine and start clicking away on my clicker, all the while wondering while my car is not responding. My first clue is usually when I look through the window of said car and don’t recognize the things inside the car as my belongings. Then I quickly slink away, fervently hoping no one is watching.
I was clearly the wrong person for this job. At least that nice young store employee was helping us search now. Sooner rather than later, we did find the gentleman’s car, helped him transfer his groceries and sent him on his way. I was relieved and grateful as I returned to my errand, thanking God for His mercy and His care while pointing out that I was the least likely, least able person to help this nice gentleman. Still, I thank You , Heavenly Father, for allowing me the privilege of showing Your kindness to a stranger. (well, a stranger to me, not to You)
“But He (the Lord) said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
sincerely, Grace Day