I go through her life in my mind and try to imagine how she got to that point, and how she may get back.
I wonder where her father and mother are. Does she have siblings? How could they let this happen to her?
In the parking lot of our local WalMart, I was approached by a woman younger than I am and she asked me for money. I was shopping with both kids and it was dark outside. I wanted to help her and I wanted to run.
She approached me with a story already leaving her mouth. I didn't even really listen to her story, just handed her a couple of bucks and she quickly moved on. She even said, "God bless you."
I thought about her all night.
Shopping at WalMart again, I saw her. She was going up and down each parking lot aisle. Asking for money.
I was listening to her story now. She had a different one for each person she approached. I had a sad, strange...sad feeling inside of me now.
It's been weeks since I first saw her. Does she tell a new story each time because her truth is so painful and hard and embarrassing?
Or is she just fooling us all? I don't know. I don't ever want to know. But it makes me think even more about my kids, especially my little girl. That lady is, or was, someone's baby girl.
She asked me for money again. There was no sense of fear, urgency, or worry in her voice. I did not open my wallet. I prayed for her as she walked away, which is sometimes all one can do.
I hate this feeling...