What would you have done?


Earlier this week at work I was looking up from my computer and out the window. {You know the drill don’t stare at your screen too long its not healthy.} Thankfully my cube is flanked on one side with windows, glorious windows, even though the view is of the building next door.

My eyes happen to see what looks like a young lady sitting up against the building with her face buried in her hands. As I watched for a moment I notice her whole body seemed to be shaking as if crying. Then she looked up and I saw her face, red and blotchy. Another coworker joined me assessing the situation and indeed this young lady was sobbing.

What do you do? My coworker looked at me and asked if I were going out there – she knows me all to well. Yes. I was going to see if she were alright. I grabbed a box of tissues and headed out the door. My mind was racing with thoughts of how was I going to approach her or what if she freaks out! At some point walking over there it didn’t matter any more. This girl was clearly distressed.

I was about ten feet away when she looked up. I spoke up and said something like, “You looked like you may need more Kleenix. Can I help in any way?” Instantly she started bawling again. Oh my, now what do I do?! I leaned over and handed her the box of tissues. She stood up and looked at me with the saddest face I’ve seen in a long time. Then she blurted out that a friend had committed suicide right before summer break from college. All I could do is reach for her and give her a big hug. Chris {not her real name} put her arms around me and burst out in tears once again.

I’ll stop the story here not because I don’t want to tell you the rest, but because I want to ask you to open you eyes, ears, and heart to those around you. This young lady recently came home from college, started a summer job, and was hurting. Look around. Who needs a kind word or an ear to listen? It doesn’t take much to make a difference in the lives around us.

I’ll leave you with this video by Point of Grace.

P.S. My new friend just stopped by with a doughnut as a thank you for reaching out to her. The best thing for me was seeing her smiling and happy!

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11 responses to “What would you have done?

  1. How sad is this. But at the same time, kudos to you for going to her aid. How ironic that I just wrote a poem not to long ago about this very thing…

    http://wp.me/p1imIE-2m

  2. I would have done exactly what you did. Kleenex, hugs and a sympathetic ear.

  3. I read this today and thought of this blog post! “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.” – John Wesley

  4. Pam – this is pretty much my day job, I work in a specialist doctors office and when bad news is given I watch them fall apart out in the waiting room. I am the sympathetic ear and giver of hugs and tissue delivery system. Sometimes it is so hard, but in the end I know I have helped someone through something and it’s my way of giving back,

  5. What a great story. As a trucker, I’ve heard every sob story on the planet. People come up to us truckers and ask for money all the time. They have aunts with leukemia, moms in the hospital, or a dying cousin. Everyone needs money for gas. When you give them a few bucks, half of them act put out that you didn’t give them more.

    I have to admit that it’s jaded me. I never know who is telling the truth and who isn’t, so instead of giving to all, I find myself giving to very few. I wish I had a built in lie detector so I could help those who really needed it and at the same time, keep from giving money to liars with addictions or the unwillingness to work.

    Your story did a good job of reminding me that not everyone are liars. I just wish in my life everything was as clear cut as a girl sitting on the side of a building crying.

  6. Good for you. That was a risk you took, but you weren’t afraid to reach out.

  7. good choice. i would have done the same. 🙂

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