What would you do?


Today, my DH and I were on our way home after a vacation/business trip. We are on the curb at the airport when this woman approaches DH.

You can tell she’s been rode hard and put away wet. She’s disheveled, her words are a bit slurred, and her skin’s kinda leathery. She’s definitely homeless, either mentally ill or on drugs or both.

The woman comes up to DH and starts asking his name or for an ID badge. DH tries to ignore her, figuring she just wants some money. (DH never gives money to panhandlers.)

The woman keeps following us and talking to DH even after we get inside the airport. (We have not checked in yet.) At this point, I get a little weirded out; I’ve dealt with panhandlers before, but never seen one so aggressive. DH is still trying to ignore her, so I do the same. We need to go up a level to check in and go through security, so I start heading to the elevator.

As I’m making my way towards the elevator, I turn around just in time to see the woman slap DH on the face.

Adrenaline rushes through me and I find myself shouting, “Hey! Don’t touch my husband, lady!”

At this point she walks away from him, but hollers out that she was left alone with 5 kids and he’s responsible.

We got on the elevator, checked in for our flight, and are now home safe and sound, but I can’t get her off my mind.

I feel horrible for ignoring her at first and then yelling at her later. I have some mentally ill family members, and there, but for the grace of God…

How could I have been more compassionate to this woman? And if something like this happens again, what should I do? What would you do?


Really, I don’t think there’s much you could do. You could have called the police and they might be able to give her help, but it’s unlikely that anything would really get done. I, too, have a mentally ill family member, so I know how you feel.


It is very human to be caught off guard by a totally unexpected situation and to react in ways that are reaction without much prethought if any … and later to question our reactions once the situation is past tense and the sudden rise of emotions triggered at the time, are now settled again. Keep your very human reaction in prayer along with this woman and all suffering in some way and the 20/21st century lepers (of the time of Jesus) are probably those who do suffer mental illness (for one only!) in our own day- illness which they have not chosen, rather they have been chosen. So very often people are victims of circumstances beyond their control in life and rather than rise above these as some do - for equally unknown reasons, others are always the victims of those circumstances. Perhaps keep these types of thoughts in mind. And your lasts two paragraphs reveal that you are…

What would I do in such a sudden and unexpected situation…probably react very humanly as anyone… and then after question that very human reaction wondering if I could or should do better and knowing that indeed I could have - I’d talk to The Lord about it and ask that in future my reactions with His Help are more like what He would do if in the same situation. I’d be reflective about the situation looking at my attitudes and perspectives generally and if they need changing, and how I could make the journey of change.

Well, anyway, I hope I would react at least in some of the ways above.:o

And so the journey of life goes on…and on we go:thumbsup: …It can be a real roller coaster ride and one of polarities…today I act like a saint, tomorrow I act like anything but…or I manage the two extremes in 24 hours, or perhaps even in 60 mins…saints are sinners who just refuse to give up and keep on keeping on…a monk was asked what they did in a monastery all day and he replied “We fall down and get up again”…



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