On Saturday, a little girl from Florida was kidnapped. As a mama of a little girl the same exact age, size and general appearance, it left a knot in my stomach. I watched the updates and received the Amber Alert that she had been spotted in Tennessee. I watch the three-minute surveillance video taken at a McDonald’s and, I’ll be honest, it was hard to watch.
As the little girl and her abductor stood at the counter, numerous people walked up beside them. Folks ordered cheeseburgers and probably complained that the pickles weren’t removed while standing inches from a child who desperately needed to be rescued. I couldn’t help but wonder if anyone viewed that video and saw themselves standing so incredibly close to that poor child but completely unaware.
Thankfully, that little girl was rescued; sadly, many are not.
It made me think of the people I walk by on a daily basis. How often am I within inches of someone – in my neighborhood, workplace, grocery store, family gathering – who desperately needs to be rescued? As I go about my life, doing mundane tasks and complaining about inane things, are the people around me hurting and pleading for someone to notice?
At one point in that surveillance video, a woman walked behind the little girl and I wanted to scream, “She’s right there!” How often, as we go through our day, does God want to scream at us, “She’s right there!” He puts us right where He wants us and we don’t even notice that one of His children are in danger.
In my neighborhood, there is one woman that crosses my path multiple times a week. We nod, smile and exchange benign greetings, but something in my spirit tells me that I’m supposed to go deeper. I could ignore the nudging or produce a dozen excuses as to why I should just let well enough alone.
I’m such an introvert.
What would I say?
She doesn’t look like me.
What if she thinks I’m a weirdo?
But then it always comes back to the one question I can’t ignore.
What if she needs to be rescued?
So, I see her walking down our street and I try to casually stand by the road. I turn to her as she passes and I introduce myself. She laughs and nods, “I know. You’re the pastor’s wife,” and we both giggle. She calls me ma’am more than once and I pretend she’s just being polite and it’s not because I’m probably fifteen years older than her.
It’s a very short conversation and she’s on her way. But now, when she walks by my house, I wave and call her by name. She smiles and waves back. She knows that she is seen by me and it’s the foundation for something more.
Look around you. Be aware. You never know who is in need of rescue.
You are loved. <3