This morning I woke up thinking about a moment years ago again. I hadn't thought about this particular moment for quite some time now but it has haunted me for years on and off. It was a moment when I felt I should approach someone and speak to him. But I didn't. I watched him ubruptly remove his button-up shirt in frustration, throw it in the back of his truck, and drive away. I think I might have called to him because I felt the desire to talk to him build at that moment. But it was too late and I let it slip away. I never saw him again.
I think about him now and then. I wonder where he is or what he has done with his life. I wonder where he has ended up. I had looked him up online before, but never was able to find anything. He never was the big social media type I guess.
But this morning he came to my mind again and I thought I would try again to look him up online. And there he was. The mug shot made him look harsher and he has facial hair now. The light has completely left his eyes and I couldn't help but cry. Now he's a registered sex offender. I have no idea what the circumstances were in his charges but it still made me so sad because of where he has ended up.
I wonder what kind of change I may have had if I had followed that prompting in that moment when he was leaving the parking lot in his truck. I think back and picture his face and I can imagine him thinking "I'm never coming back here. Ever." Maybe I could have given him the hope to return. Maybe I wouldn't have made a difference at all. Still, it made me feel so sad that I didn't do it when I had that opportunity. When I felt that prompting.
But then I remembered a talk I heard or read once a long time ago and I wish I knew who said this, but I can't remember. He said that God is aware of all of us. He loves all of His children and would never make it so they had just that one shot. He would always give them many chances to make good decisions or do what is right. I was not this guy's one shot to being better. This missed prompting of mine wasn't his only opportunity. God is still aware of him. It made me feel a little better. I cannot blame myself. But now I have a new perspective on people. I don't think I ever have felt compassion for a registered sex offender before in my life! But I do now. It goes to show that even people who make dispicable mistakes are God's children. That boy had a hard home life growing up. I don't know what he had to go through but I witnessed its effects. He could have been a good kid. He could have turned into a good man. My heart breaks for him and all I can do now is pray and hope that I can listen a little closer to those promptings from here on out. This is the repentence I must do to let that moment go.
I will never forget the way he looked the last time I saw him. I hope he gets the lights in his eyes again someday. I really do.