Yesterday after work I drove out of the parking lot and there was a man with a cardboard sign by the side of the road. He had a pack and a grizzled look. I wasn’t sure if he needed money or a ride. I could part with money—I had enough in my wallet—but was not willing to give him a ride. I’m sure that I could have found out which by reading his sign, but I didn’t want to look over there. I didn’t want him to see me “showing interest” and then have an expectation just to have me look away (in case he needed a ride) as if shamed. I was shamed. The light was red. There were no cars behind me. It was just a glance, but that was more than I was willing to give.
As I drove down the road I began to remember all those religious injunctions about helping the wayfarer. Well who the hell was this man, if not that? I almost turned around, but I didn’t. My fear of that confrontation was too much. I wanted to cry.
God forgive me.