Listening to God

I  did something risky and I think God made me do it.

A few months ago, I was driving with my son and he randomly asked me about hitchhiking.  “Mom, isn’t hitchhiking a really bad idea?” I emphatically answered, “Yes! It’s very dangerous”. He had watched a YouTube video where someone was hitchhiking and some crazy thing happened to them, so he thought to bring it up to me. He then brought up the story I’d told him awhile back of the last time I hitchhiked. I was 19 and took a ride from a man around 60. I’d told him where I was going and we drove off. A minute later, I realized this guy was sketchy. I just a felt a bad vibe from him.  A “knowing”. We happened to pass my friend walking down along the road, so I told the guy he could just let me off there with my friend. He slowly looked at me and said, “No. I’m taking you where you need to go”. It was so weird. I mean, REALLY freaking creepy. Then… he locked the doors. My heart went in my throat. He looked kind of like the Penguin in Batman. I remember him to be wearing a trench coat, but that very well could be my imagination filling in the blanks. Regardless, he should have been wearing one, because he was just that kind of guy. I had this “feeling” inside me, that this was not going to end with him just dropping me off. This was bad news. This guy was definitely planning on making me a statistic.  We near a bend in the road where he had to yield. Well, he slows down, almost to a stop,  and I pull up the lock and jump out while the car is still moving! I haul ass over to my friend and live to see another day.  Anyway, I’ve told that story to my boys to scare them from ever hitching a ride, and I think it worked.

So, my son brings that story up, totally out of the blue (we haven’t talked about it in years) and I tell him “I’ve never hitchhiked again, and I’ve never picked up a hitchhiker since then, either”. We discuss the dangers of picking up strangers, how they could be serial killers or rob you or whatever. I tell him how no one really hitchhikes anymore, anyway. We get home and decide to order takeout, so I leave to pick it up.

I’m coming home with dinner, maybe 45 minutes after this conversation. It’s sleeting, around 35 degrees out…miserable weather. I round the corner about 2 miles from home and what do I see on the side? Yep…a freaking hitchhiker. I shit you not. I swerve to avoid him. It’s so miserable out, I could barely see him. He had no coat on, a flannel shirt and a hat and I could see his soaked bag on the side of the road. I continue on home, thinking “Wow, what a coincidence to see a hitchhiker so soon after talking about them with Eric”. I keep thinking that, as I turn on my road. There’s another voice in my head saying, “Jami , you know there are no coincidences”. Then, yet another voice says “God is telling you to pick up that hitchhiker. The poor guy is freezing and in the middle of nowhere”. I counter that with my own voice (yes, I have LOTS of voices in my head….FYI) saying, “What if God is NOT telling you to pick him up and was really giving you the message/lesson back when you were 19 and if you ignore the lesson and get murdered tonight, it’s because you weren’t paying attention to the warning God gave you way back then? He could be testing you to see if you paid attention!”  I kept thinking of the stories I learn in church, of how Jesus went to the marginalized, the sick, the needy… he helped the risky people, the people other people looked down on. Like that story of a homeless man outside a church and all the churchgoers walk right past him, basically stepping right over him, to get into church and worship God, when all the while, God WAS the homeless man. Then, I’d think of how nice people get murdered every day just for being nice and trying to help others. A voice in my head said, “Don’t forget how the girl ended up in the basement in Silence of the Lambs”…. seriously, all of these voices were arguing as I pulled up to my house. I took a deep breath, blocked out the voices and asked myself “what do I FEEL is right?” No sooner than the question was formed, I found myself turning around to pick this man up. The voices came back. “Jami! What if this guy kills you? No one will know you’re even picking him up. The boys won’t get to eat their Chinese food and even worse, they’ll lose their mother!” Valid point, voice of reason…valid point. Still, I went. “Come on, what serial killer in his right mind would choose a miserable, sleeting, freezing night to stand on a dark road, hoping for an unsuspecting woman to pick him up so he can kill her?” Even serial killers have enough common sense to do that shit when it’s warm out, right? All I could think of was how miserable I would feel to be standing out in this weather, hoping for someone to help me… yet knowing no one probably would.

So, I pulled up to the guy. Turns out, wasn’t a guy at all. It was a girl. She was about 20, and actually… there were two girls there. The bag I saw was really a purse. They were freezing, soaked to the bone and so grateful to get in my car. They said were at a boyfriends house and got into a fight and he kicked them out. I think they’d been drinking, but not sure. They lived a few towns away and had no phone to call for a ride. I end up driving them to a friend’s house the next town over. They didn’t kill me. They didn’t rob me. They could have. I lucked out, for sure. They kept talking about how long they were trying to find help. They knocked on doors and had no luck. I said, “If you knocked on my door, there’s no way in hell I would have let you in.” They understood, and said “I hope we aren’t making you go out of your way”. I replied, “Yes, I am, but it’s OK. I wanted to”, and told them the story of my hitchhiking conversation with my son and how I felt it was God’s way of helping them out tonight and how I was in my driveway and turned around to find them. They liked the story and kept talking about how it was nice to know there were still helpful people around, and about paying it forward some day. All the while, I was looking at them out of the corner of my eye, because, you know…they could still have robbed or killed me. I had my “Odor Assasin” car deodorizer spray handy, and my plan was to spray it in their eyes if they pulled anything funny. Sorry, it’s all I had. Anyway, it all worked out in the end. I told the boys about it when I got home, and they were pissed at me for doing something so dangerous and made me promise to not do it again…which I did. And I won’t.

I settled in for the night and went on Facebook. I saw that an old friend of mine passed away. He was a gay rights advocate…one of the “marginalized”. The postings about his death were pretty much at the same time I picked up those girls. Coincidence? Maybe. But I like to think it was God, cradling my friend and whispering in my ear…reminding me to not step over anyone.

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20 thoughts on “Listening to God”

  1. I have done the same thing. I picked up a man in a blinding storm. It turns out he had been in a car accident, and his car was off the road somewhere. A four year old boy ran out when I stopped, and they both got in. He was shaking and upset and freezing. And young. Probably only about 25. I drove him to the nearest convenience store, where he could use the phone to call his parents and let them know he wouldn’t be coming for Easter.
    I haven’t thought about that in years. Sometimes it’s not the voice of fear that we should listen to. But like you, I wonder how to know when that is.
    Beautiful story. ?
    (I’ve been copying and pasting your hearts all over the place.)

      1. Yes! Here’s another weird thing. I was going through boxes of old junk I hadn’t looked through in years, and I found my certificate of baptism, dated March 31. I found it on March 31st. Coincidence?

        1. I wonder how close that date was to Easter that year? Whatever the case, it’s up to YOU to decide if it’s just a coincidence or something brought to your attention to make you think. Personally, if something feels significant to me, then it IS significant. I can’t tell you how many coincidences I have been through in the past year, as I struggled through my journey. I definitely think it was God/universe involved!

          1. I couldn’t agree more. Now I’m getting all of these ‘signs’ about angels — angel books, angel art, angels in the clouds. People keep bringing it up over and over again. I can’t wait to see what this manifests!

  2. This is so beautiful I can’t tell you. I’ll share something I very recently learned. When a person is born and they are extremely intuitive – more than most- they feel the world as a much more scary and dangerous place simply because of being so sensitive. We have our intuition to guide us. But our culture neither understands what it is, nor appreciates it’s value. We are literally socialized to not listen to our intuition.

    Years of “danger” programming in our brains leaves us to believe the world is very scary and dangerous. But the truth is, it’s literally only as scary as you see it. The more we can rely on our intuition to guide us and try not to let the fear based brain steer us, the more comfortable life will be. It’s not an easy thing to do, but every time we do it, we trust ourselves and life just that much more.

    My interpretation of intuition is our connection to the field of energy that is all around us known as God. That field of energy is quite literally all of the information that creates the entire world and us. And it feels like love. When we listen through our hearts, the advice is always right for us. (I hope this doesn’t sound too preachy- just so thrilled any time someone chooses intuition over programmed reaction).

    1. No, not preachy at all! It all makes perfect sense. I often wonder what I missed out on in life, all those years I was shut down. I’m sure I received so many messages I just didn’t hear…or ignored. I’m listening now, though?

  3. I really relate to all the arguing in your head, the so called ‘reasonable logical self protective side’ so full of fear fighting your first naked gut reaction/loving intuitive heart impulse. I could only read this so far down to be honest with all the back and forward today, I had to come back to it later. I am so glad that love won out. Sad to hear of your friend’s death though but as he left the world you gave love to others who were cast out into the wild night. <3.

  4. Great story! I so relate to the different voices fighting in your head. It is so hard to know which voice to listen to sometimes, especially when we think God is telling us to do something but we’re not sure and we feel like it goes against our common sense. We do have to be sensible but it’s also easy to let fear override our compassion at times, which is not good. Sounds like you made the right choice here.

  5. What an awesome story. Hitchhiking IS a risky business. Here in Australia we have had some horrific incidents, murders, rapes etc – often backpackers holidaying from overseas doing it cheap. Glad you listened to your inner voice and helped the girls. Bless you 🙂
    BTW – thank you so much for the follow of my blog. Did I already say that somewhere else? If so, I meant it then, and now 🙂

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