Have you ever listened to that still, small voice in your head (or heart) asking you to talk to a stranger, or stop your car to help someone on the road? GNN friend and supporter Harry Tucker says when we listen to our inner instincts to help others in need, the result is always a benefit to us, but also can be a miracle for another: “In August of 2005, I was embroiled in a large international fraud trial in New York Supreme Court…”
As key witness for the prosecution, I alternated between being perceived as everyone’s best friend and everyone’s worst enemy. I had death threats against myself and my family and I had been offered the most incredible bribes. On Wednesday, August 10th, I was driving up through Topsail when I received a call on my cell phone from one of the parties in the case. I wanted to concentrate on the call, so I pulled over on Topsail Beach to take it.
For the hour that I was on the call, I could not believe how Life was so complicated and how I had allowed myself to get caught up in such a mess. During that hour, I kept noticing a lady in a red car to my left who was crying profusely, with her head in her hands.
I walked over to the driver’s side and tapped on the glass. Now you can imagine someone 6 foot 3 with dark glasses on, approaching you in a remote area. The lady opened the window about an inch and I asked her if she was ok. She indicated that she was fine. I told her that from where I stood, she did not appear to be fine at all. I also told her that however dark Life appeared to her at that moment, it was in fact filled with love for her and that if she could see that, she would find the way out of the darkness that she saw. She thanked me and I walked away.
DON’T ARGUE WITH YOUR STILL, SMALL VOICE
As I got back to my truck, I thought “Nope, that’s still not good enough”. I turned around, went back and gave her my name and phone number on a piece of paper. I told her to call anytime and that there were lots of people out there who could help her find the light that she needed. She thanked me again and I left.
A week later, almost to the hour, I was driving past the same spot and realized that my cell phone wasn’t on. I turned it on and it promptly told me that I had a message. I pulled over and listened to the message, a message so profound that I couldn’t speak. I silently passed the phone to my partner so she could listen to it.
It was a message left at 1:20 that morning. It was clear by the message from the mysterious lady I had met a week earlier, that while I had been wondering why my Life was so complicated, Lynn, as the caller identified herself, was contemplating why Life was worth living. It appeared that my spontaneous act had interrupted plans that would probably have had a much darker result had I not spoken to her.
She indicated in her message that my act of compassion and kindness would stay with her forever and I suspect that she will pass this compassion and kindness on to others. When my day is difficult I replay her message to help put my day back into perspective. My act of going over to speak to her had caused her to rethink her actions, to change her perception of the world and to see the beauty in Life. In return, her act of calling me to thank me caused me to change my perception of my world, putting my court case in much clearer perspective.
When you change how you look at things, the things you look at change.
When you have a chance to exercise your obligation of responsibility to yourself and others, take it. You may not know until days, months or years down the road what a positive impact you had. (You may never know.) But when your instinct tells you that you need to act, trust it and listen to it. You never know how big an impact it might produce in someone’s life.
Take care and be well.