I just got back from a four day trip to Columbus, Ohio with my BFF Lindy. She is a consultant with Thirty-One gifts and earned her ticket to the National Convention. Since we live in New Jersey, it was going to require a flight and a hotel stay to attend so she invited me along for the trip! We had so much fun, girl time together.
One of my favorite parts of the trip was one of the speakers: Leigh Anne Tuohy. You may recognize the name. She was the mom that Sandra Bullock portrayed in the movie "The Blind Side." She spoke to us in a stadium of about 15,000 people.
She shared with us the inspirational story of how her family adopted their son Michael Oher. She told us how true to life the movie was. She said that her family really was driving down the road to breakfast on Thanksgiving weekend when they saw Michael walking along the road. They turned their car around to go back for him which began the amazing journey for their family. Their journey started with their white family adopting a homeless 6'6" black teen and ended with that teen becoming the starting right tackle for the Tennessee Titans!
Leanne Tuohy also told us the Starfish story.
She encouraged all of us to make a difference where we can. God may not be calling all of us to go out and look for 6'6" black teenagers to adopt but God is certainly calling us to help others. He is placing those who need help right in front of us everyday and we just need to open our eyes and look for it. We need to respond when we are called. We may not be able to help every single person but we can help those right in front of us.
I left the arena feeling inspired and recharged. I took the shuttle bus back to my hotel. As our bus sat at light in the middle of the busy city of Columbus (the capital of Ohio) I noticed a blind man with his walking stick waiting to cross the intersection. Our bus pulled up to our hotel and as we all filed out of the bus, I realized that the man was still standing at the intersection. I watched as dozens of people walked past him as they crossed the street. The light changed several more times as I watched. Surprsingly, no one offered to help the man cross. Why was no one offering to help? There was my person right in front of me. The Blind Side had met this blind man. I was not going to walk right by like I might have in the past assuming that he was ok. I know that those people were probably thinking that he would ask for help if he needed it, right? So I walked up to him and gently had a conversation with him...
Me: Excuse me. Would you like some help crossing the intersection?
Me: Thinking...Hmmm I guess I was wrong when I thought he needed help
Him: I just need help figuring out where I am. I got myself all turned around walking through the streets and I don't know what intersection I am at. Can you tell me?
Me: Sure! You are facing 3rd Street and State Street is on your left. The Sheraton Hotel is behind you.
Him: (Sigh of Relief) Ahh! That makes sense now! Thank you so much!
Me: No Problem! Would you like help getting across?
Him: Nope! That's the easy part!
He then heard the chirping of the light that signaled him to cross and away he went with a smile on his face.
I was really inspired by Leanne Tuohy to act. I am not sitting here patting myself on the back, I am aware that helping someone cross the street is not worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize. My point is that if we all start responding to the situations and people right in front of us, then helping others will become a habit and the world will become a better place!
Stay tuned for more upcoming blog posts about my time with Lindy at the Thirty-One convention!
Don't know what Thirty-One is? Check out Lindy's web page here!