Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Catholic Defender: The Wanderer

This past night started out like so many nights starting out on the beat. I had another person I was training on the job showing them the ropes of the mission.

I was showing him how to open up the doors of the Hospital to start the morning right. It was about 0530 in the morning when we were outside at the front entrance when this lady comes walking towards us from the parking lot.

I casually asked her "How are you doing this morning"? She responded "not well". Being that we were in the Hospital parking lot, that was not so out of the ordinary, but I asked, "Are you OK, do you need any help?"

That's when she sat down on a barrior pillar telling us her story. The story begins when her "friend" drops her off at a local convienance store to pick some articles up when they left her stranded in the parking lot.

The only thing she had was the clothes on her back. She didn't even have her keys to her car nearly 40 miles away.

She notifies the Police who responds to her call who could not nor did not help her situation. The Officer basically told her that she needed to start walking.

And that is what she did, she walked for nearly 12 hours until she happened to walk up to me. Now, this lady was clearly in distress with her situation; as I looked at the situation before me, this woman was clearly alone and in trouble.

After ensuring that she was not in any emergency, I asked her how she got into this situation. She responded that she was an accountant who was staying with friends while she got herself situated.

But she was clearly being taken advantage of by so-called "friends". I found out that she had a Catholic upbringing but she had not been practicing her faith for a long time.

That opened the door for my encouragment, I told her to hang tight with my partner as I go call the local Catholic Parish to see if they could help her.

At 0545 in the morning, all I could get was an answering machine so I went to the Emergency Room Director and told them about this woman who had been walking along Highway 190 for nearly 12 hours hoping someone would help her. She didn't think the police would help her and so she didn't know where to go.

I called the local police and it so happened that the same Officer who told her to "walk" responded to my call.

The first thing he said to her was "How many times do I need to see you," which I couldn't believe what was developing here.

I quickly interviened and began asking more questions to her. The noncommissioned officer in me began to come out as I started offering options for her.

The first thing I suggested was that she get checked out here at the Emergency Room for deyhdration and exhaustion. She most certainly would need fluids after walking nearly 12 hours in this hot Texas weather.

Even at night it can be humid and you can die out there exposed to the conditions. I was not about to tell her to "walk"? I would not want anyone telling my Daughter something like that as this lady was friendless and temporarily homeless needing help.

I was able to secure her a place to be seen and I was able to get her to call the local Catholic Church for help.

I took the opportunity to talk to her about the importance of her Catholic Faith and that the Church was her home away from home. No matter where she could find herself, she had a place she could find "Family"!

Her Mother was something like 6-8 hours away and I don't think they were much into talking. I encouraged her to respect her Mother, to love her. I told her that Jesus loves her and I do not believe in accidents, that she would walk into my path.

I had her promise to me that she would become a true Daughter of the Church, to trust in the Lord who is kind and merciful. She was certainly ready in her life to open up to the Lord.

I am so thankful that I was able to help her before she was picked up by others who would destroy her. It is dangerous for anyone doing what she did.

We see the news everyday about this tragady or that tragedy, I just thanked the Lord to be hopefully a force for good.

I want to take this opportunity to encourage anyone out there who might find themselves in a situation you might feel stranded. You might feel alone, you might have been out in the darkness walking, hoping to find help.

Jesus is the lover of your soul, please give him your life. Please check out your local Catholic Church and restore your faith walk, your journey of faith and be restored on the vine.

If someone in your past who represented the Church was not the servant they should have been, do not lose hope, God is the lover of your soul, trust in him. You do not have to spend your life as the wanderer!

Through his holy Catholic Church, he makes himself available to you despite some of our own weaknesses. Do not forsake Peter because of Judas.

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