On my way to an appointment this morning I was driving along a curvy 2-lane highway. Going around one of those curves, I had to slow waaaaaay down to be able to pass a young woman walking too close to the road. There are no shoulders or bike or walking lanes on this road, and people rarely walk along it. But when they do, they usually walk in the wild grass along the side of the road. But this woman chose to walk on the edge of the road, making it difficult to pass her safely with oncoming traffic coming around the curve. For this reason, I really noticed her.
She had her hair up in a tight pony tail and was wearing a V-neck white T-shirt with black cotton capri’s with the ties around the bottom of each leg. She had thin flip-flops on her feet. And she had a white washcloth in her hands that she kept putting on the right side of her face. I assume it was wet and she was cooling herself with it while she was walking.
I went on to my appointment, and 30 minutes later I was done. I proceeded to take the same curvy 2-lane highway home, and lo and behold, there was the same young girl still walking on this highway a little over a mile away from where I first saw her. This was obviously not a workout style walk. She was not moving fast enough nor was she dressed for it. This girl looked questionable. She might have been staggering a little. I kept driving.
But I thought about a friend of mine who has a daughter who is in and out of desperate situations. This friend constantly prays for angels to cross paths with her daughter and help in a large ways and small ways. And I thought about the mother of this girl on the side of the road and wondered if she prayed for angels to cross paths with her daughter. If this were my daughter on the side of the road, I’d pray for an angel (another momma) to cross paths with her and help protect her. So I turned my little truck around and went to find the young girl.
I caught up with her and pulled off of the road a little ahead of her and waited for her to catch up with me. I watched in my rearview mirror and could see she was apprehensive of my presence. So I put my window down and stuck my head out and shouted, “I thought you looked like you could use a ride somewhere!” As she got closer, I told her I had seen her farther south on the same road before my appt, and she was still walking. She must be hot and tired of walking in those flip-flops along such a dusty dangerous road. Did she want a ride?
She thanked me (“ma’am”) and said she was fine. As she approached my car, she kept putting the mostly-dry-now white washcloth on the right side of her head and face. But as she constantly readjusted it, I could see she had freshly stitched wounds on her right ear, behind her right ear, and on the right side of her neck. I asked her again if she was sure she didn’t want a ride. She said no. That she was only going to Sweetbay and it wasn’t far. It wasn’t. But I suspected she was afraid. Maybe not of me, but of doing something wrong.
So I asked her if she’d at least like a bottle of water to finish her journey to Sweetbay. She looked at me surprised and asked if I had extra water. I said yes and gave it to her.
Then I asked her if I could pray for her. She smiled and said she would like that very much. She said her name is Christina. Or maybe it’s Kristina. I didn’t ask how to spell it. I told her my name. Then I said I’d pray and she interrupted me and said her momma needs the prayers more because she was just murdered. And she started to tear up. Then I started to tear up. And I couldn’t speak. And she walked away.
So I squeaked out, “Be safe.”
And I prayed for Christina/Kristina all the way home.
Follow up. A friend of mine read this post and recognized Christina as the sole survivor of a home invasion where her mother and a family friend were shot to death. Christina had been shot as well, but she survived. So sad…..