wheelchair woman

Forgive me, ma’am, for calling you “wheelchair woman.” I guess in my head, that’s all I know about you: that you’re female, and you’re in an electric wheelchair.

Oh, yeah. I guess there’s something else: last time I saw you here, at the car wash, you asked me for money. I saw you before we talked, and you were digging into the change slots of the vending machines, hunting for forgotten coins. I was glad for the opportunity to give you a dollar, and I patted myself on the back for the good advice I lent: “In this heat, maybe you should get a water instead of a Mountain Dew; it’ll quench your thirst longer.” I doubt you listened to me.

I’ll admit, I was a little disgusted to see you here again today. Oh, great. She’s made a profession of this. I planned what I would say when you wheeled up to my parked car: “Let me go buy you some water, and here, take this Testament; it’s living water for your soul.” That would be stepping out of the box for me, and I guess I was looking forward to the challenge.

But I washed my car, and you didn’t wheel up to me. Maybe I was prepared for the challenge, but I was also a little relieved to not have to deal with the situation.

As I pulled out of the garage, I looked back at you in my rearview mirror. You were dipping your fingers into the change slots of the vending machines. You hadn’t asked me for money; you hadn’t asked me for anything.

Ma’am, I’m sorry I judged you. In all my planning, I forgot to love.

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