In the Rain by the Roadside, He Lay Still, Waiting Desperately for Aid

Along the peaceful stretch of roadway, in the middle of a downpour, a scene developed that perfectly encapsulated vulnerability and hope. There, among the unrelenting hammering of raindrops on the ground, lay a guy, immobile and soaked to the bone. Just barely visible in the low light of evening, his silhouette suggested urgency and desperation.

Late July evening, the storm suddenly tore across the area, surprising a lot of visitors. Among them was this lone man whose automobile had failed shortly before the heavens opened. He had gone onto the road, expecting maybe for a break in the temperature or a passing car to provide help, without any immediate cover in view.

The rain kept its unrelenting attack as minutes turned into hours, soaking through layers of clothing and freezing him to the core. Every moving car sprayed water, a reminder of his fragility among the elements. Still, he stayed where he had fallen—beside his crippled car—waiting for help that seemed ever more elusive, despite the discomfort and mounting sensation of isolation.

His mind flew with ideas of home and loved ones, wondering whether they knew his situation. His surrounds were momentarily lit by the sporadic bolts of lightning, creating spooky shadows that moved along the road. In those brief flashes of light, he looked out across the horizon for some indication of hope—a set of headlights, maybe, or the far-off glow of a town.

Unbeknownst to him, Sarah was driving home following a demanding day at work when she caught the faint shadow of a stranger by the road. Her automobile slowed and she gazed through the rain-streaked windscreen, curiosity mixed with concern. She felt pulled at her heart—a man, still in the rain, a lone person in need of aid.

Sarah pulled over right away and hurried towards the man. As she crouched next him evaluating his state, her heart hammered with a mixture of empathy and urgency. Still seeming unconcerned with the drama playing out on the roadside, the rain kept falling. Sarah gently felt for indications of awareness and injuries, silently appreciative that she had stumbled upon him when she did.

She yelled, “Are you okay?” her voice hardly audible above the tempest.

The man stirred, his eyes fluttering open against the raindrop assault. Realising he was not alone, relief poured across his face. His voice strained from exposure as he said, “I… my car broke down.”

Sarah nodded sympathetically, her interest rising. She encouraged, “Let’s get you out of the rain,” urging him to stand with a force derived from will. Shielding themselves as best they could from the unrelenting rain, they battled towards her automobile.

The man started to defrost from the frigidity that had settled deep into his bones once inside Sarah’s automobile. Silent thanks for having decided to pack a blanket she kept for emergencies, Sarah handed him one. She discovered his name, David, and listened as he related the circumstances that had brought him to this desperate point while they waited for roadside help.

After seeing his elderly mother, David had been heading home when his automobile stuttered to stop. He had gone into the rain in quest of assistance without cell phone reception in the region and found himself overwhelmed by the strength of the storm. Until Sarah arrived, the hours had passed in a whirl of discomfort and uncertainty. Then, he had a lifeline.

Sarah told David that help was on route—a tow truck sent by a neighbouring service station she had summoned. They waited. Her cool head and pragmatism offered a clear counterpoint to the turmoil of the storm outside. Within that small automobile, among the drumming of rain on the roof, a link of trust and thanks grew between them.

The rain had started to stop by the time the tow company showed up, leaving a damp but calm evening. Promising to bring David’s automobile to the closest repair shop, the driver locked it onto the truck with expert hands. David accepted Sarah’s heartfelt thanks when she insisted on following in her car to make sure he arrived home safely.

Sarah gave a subdued smile, her eyes mirroring the relief at knowing she had changed things. “It’s what everyone would do,” she said modestly, knowing that not everyone would have stopped on that soggy roadside.

And so, following a tumultuous evening, two lives had momentarily but deeply crossed paths, evidence of the strength of empathy and personal connection. For David, the memory of lying powerless in the rain would fade and he would start to feel thanks for the stranger who had turned around. For Sarah, it also served as a reminder that occasionally the most basic deeds of kindness may have surprising and significant effects on people’s life.

Every one of them had a fresh belief in humanity’s ability for empathy and compassion as they drove off into the night. For among the uncertainty and misery, they had found not only cover from the storm but also a link formed by circumstance and compassion in the rain by the wayside.

What do you think?