“Excuse me, ma’am?”
I’d spotted the middle-aged woman lurking in the grocery store parking lot through my windshield. I had a feeling she was going to approach us to ask for money. Mom wasn’t feeling great and I was there to help her get groceries as quickly as possible so she could go home and lie down.
Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, this time being the exception, when I’m approached in a parking lot, someone either asks me for money or something else.
One woman approached me on more than one occasion in the same parking lot with the same story about needing money because her car broke down and she needed to get to Lincoln (a city about sixty miles away).
Another time, I was approached by a member of the Communist USA party to recruit me. If other people can recruit in parking lots, why not communists?
One guy, who was so drunk he could hardly stand, got so mad when I refused his request for money that he lifted his hiking-booted foot to kick my car. Thankfully, he stumbled backward before he could pull it off.
So, a person can get a little jaded. Even a Christian.
Back to the middle-aged woman in the parking lot. Just after she stopped us, a shopping cart rolled across the parking lot behind me and was headed for my car, so I hurried to control it.
When I turned back around, the woman touched my mom’s elbow, said something to her, and pulled away.
After the woman got into her car, I asked Mom what had happened.
“She just wanted to tell me I looked nice today.”
I hadn’t seen that coming. But it was a good reminder of how easy it is to make a difference with a small gesture, and that not everybody is out for him or herself.