I just saved a man's life in Barnes and Noble.
Not really. His life wasn't in danger, but I did help him. And he helped me right back.
Here is what happened...
I was breezing through Barnes and Noble to pick up a gift card for Chip's teacher for Teacher Appreciation Week. I thought I would pick out some note cards to go along with the gift card and was over by the journals and notebooks at the front of the store. Suddenly, I heard a commotion behind me and a moan. I turned around and a fairly large gentleman in his mid forties, long ponytail, camo hat had fallen on the floor. He had a rolling walker next to him so I didn't know whether he had tripped, had a heart attack, passed out.
I rushed over and asked him if he was okay.
He said "No, I don't think I am."
I said "Is this a "call an ambulance" kind of hurt or a "I just need a minute to regroup and figure out what hurts" kind of hurt?"
He said "I think the later."
So I just squatted down where he laid and talked to him a bit. He told me his name was James and he was a veteran and had injured his hip years ago when he fell down a hill about 60 feet. The injury had flared back up recently, which was why he was using the walker. I asked him how he fell in the store and he said that he thought he didn't lock the brake on the walker before he tried to sit on it. I said "Well you could not have planned it more perfectly. You are back here in this nice secluded area not out in the middle of the floor." He laughed. He said "God, I am so embarrassed." I said "This is nothing. I wiped out in a classroom a few weeks ago, damn near ripped a hole in my jeans and took out an entire row of desks. And I don't even have a bad hip."
I asked him if he was going to be able to get up and he said, not without some help. I told him I had been working out for about three weeks and I was a pretty substantial woman and could probably help him. He laughed and said "Maybe you should go get two or three more people." I told him I would be right back.
I went up to the counter and told the little girl that a gentleman had fallen and needed help getting up. The place sprung into action and radios were going off, insurance claims I am sure were running through people's heads, managers were called. I hurried back to James and told him the Calvary was coming.
He reached out his hand to me and I took it. He said "Thank you for making this not seem nearly as awkward as it is. If I wasn't so happily married I would ask you out on a date right now." I said "Well, if I wasn't so happily married I might have taken you up on that."
Then the boys arrived and I organized the rescue effort. Got James' walker over close to him, with the brake locked, grabbed a footstool for him to use to push up on, got the manager's positioned to support his bad hip and gave a giant cheer when they got him up and seated into his walker.
He was breathing heavy and you could tell he was in pain. I was bidding James goodbye and the manager thanked me for helping. James said to the manager "It is hard to believe, but she is even more beautiful inside than she is outside. That is saying something isn't it?"
I damn near cried right on the spot.
I said "James, you just made my day. It was my pleasure hanging out on the floor with you at Barnes and Noble this morning. Try not to make it a habit okay?"
The Bible Study I just finished was on the book of James. It was about living out your faith. Faith through action and serving and giving. I don't think it was a coincidence that his name was James. Just saying.
Then I floated out of that store...high on life and how awesome people are and how helping someone just feels good.
Then I got to my car and realized I had forgotten to buy the gift card. DANG IT!!!
Hope you have a close encounter with someone awesome today!!!