I remember sitting at the window sometimes and watching the young man with curiosity. He was my neighbor. They had a couple of kids. Occasionally, their loud arguments, with bursts of profanity, would disturb our peaceful neighborhood. There was also an older woman who resided with them.
Over a period of months, as I watched them going in and out, I grew even more curious about what they were about and what they did for a living. I would see him walking down the street sometimes during the day with a set of headphones, totally absorbed in whatever he was listening to. “Why doesn’t he have a job? Is he just a lazy, good for nothing, living off of the older lady?” I thought.
It was a typical Friday for us, the day I usually did housecleaning in preparation for the weekend. My husband Frank had gone out to work on the car. After cleaning the breakfast dishes, I looked around to assess my duties. Just as I finished the birdcage, and was about to hang some curtains, I heard Frank screaming my name. It was unusual for him to yell, so I dropped what I was doing and headed out the front door.
Just as I turned the corner of the house, his feet were kicking from underneath the car. As I got closer, he quietly said, “The car is on my head. I need you to go over to the jack and. . . He never finished his request. I began screaming, “Somebody, help me.”
It drew the neighbor to the left of us. She wasted no time in calling for Fire Rescue. I calmed down enough to see if Frank was still alive. He was trying to give me instructions.
“Go around to where the jack is and turn that little button,” he said. I did what he said, but fear had blinded me.
“What button? I don’t see a button. What are you talking about?” I said, unable to hide my frustration.
I kept touching something but it wasn’t the right thing. Nothing was moving the way he was instructing.
Feeling helpless, I began screaming again: “Somebody, help him. My husband is trapped. Help!”
A red truck pulled up and stopped. I started walking towards the young man who exited the truck: “My husband is trapped. Please help him,” I said.
He took one look, panicked and got back in his truck and pulled off.
I went to the front bumper in frustration and began to put everything I could into lifting the car:
“My back. Oh, my God, my back,” I cried.
One of my neighbors, a little old lady about 72, came and together, in spite of my back pain, we tried to lift the car but to no avail.
By now Frank had calmed down. He was still trying to give us suggestions but nothing was working. Fear set in, “God, what are we going to do?” Just then I saw a young man running across the street. Within seconds he lifted the car just enough for Frank to pull himself free. At the same time the police and fire rescue arrived.
As they were preparing him for the ride to the hospital, it hit me: I realized that was the young neighbor I had been watching and thinking all those thoughts about for the past few months.
My thoughts brought me to shame.
“God, forgive me for what I thought and said about this young man,” I mumbled under my breath.
After Frank returned from the hospital, together we went over to say “thank you.” That young man was assigned to save my husband’s life that day. Because work had been slow, he was home. He said he was watching TV when a voice told him to go outside. It turned out that he owned the house and his mother lived with him. I had judged him and I was wrong.
Have you ever had an experience like this?
Keep the faith,