Angie — One of the Lost Generation on A Lost Highway

Dear Folks,

Angie maybe wasn’t homeless, but she was certainly displaced, rootless, probably hungry, and needed help. Help someone today. You or I could need it next.

I met Angie yesterday. She was walking dejectedly down the highway with a big, baggy purse over her shoulder, the color dull, like her whole aura. After a moment I stopped and backed up. Rolled the passenger window down. “Need a ride?” I asked. Her voice was so low and muted I couldn’t hear her reply, but she opened the door and got in. “Where ya going?” I asked. Her voice was still so low, with absolutely no projection, that I understood not one word of what she said.

She pointed out a road about a half mile down. I turned onto it and took her to a set of old trailers with cars in the yard and the porch light on. I waited to see if anyone would come to the door. They didn’t. Then she asked if I could take her home. I was happy to hear she had one, or at least the semblance of one. She said it was down near the school.

I asked her name. Angie. She asked if I lived by myself. No, I told her. I’m married. That seemed to take a moment to sink in. I’ve met so many young women and older young women, who seem to have no conception of a documented commitment, as well as a heart commitment, between a man and woman. They live from pillar to post. They look lost and estranged. And so they are. Angie didn’t look like she was drunk or on drugs. Not even the smell of cigarette smoke hung about her. She was attractive in a down-beaten sort of way. Her dark hair looked natural and was styled in a cute short cut, although it could have been a self-style. Her clothes looked decent enough, although very much in need of washing, as did she. How far she had come on that highway, or from what circumstances, she never said.

She asked what I did and I just told her about how I loved tracing family history, and asked her last name. She told me. She asked intelligent questions when I could comprehend what she said. She asked me how do you go about it? I told her short basics. I told her you start with yourself, your birth date, where you were born, then work back to your parents and grandparents, writing down all their basic information. I asked if her family talked about family. She turned her head away and mumbled something incomprehensible. I took that as a definite no, and not much in the way of “family”.

My heart broke for her. So many of the younger generations are lost because they are rootless, coming from more in the way of a copulation than parentage. They have no conception of God, of values, of anything requiring personal responsibility, because they were taught none. Society doesn’t teach it anymore. In fact, if you espouse values or responsibility you can get sued. And loving your neighbor as yourself takes on a whole different meaning. If some of the children who were bused to our church are any example, they not only were not taught these things — they had never even heard of Jesus (except maybe as a curse), and had no inkling of discipline or principle. I sometimes feel we have feral children growing up who would have been better off raised by wolves.

When we got to the school she said it was on further and I heard the word “caution light”. I went on to the caution light which was a good way past the school. When we got to it, she said it was the next caution light. That also was a good ways further. But there she indicated a left turn. When we got on that road, she belatedly asked where I had been headed when I picked her up. I told her. She hesitated a moment. “That’s a long way out of your way,” she said in that soft, hesitant voice. At first I didn’t know what to say. Because it was a long way out of my way. I had already started to get irritated that the school was just the first of three widely separated points. But then a calmness stole over me, the way it does when God is speaking to your heart. And these words came to me, “If you can’t go out of your way for someone every once in while, what good are you?”

She didn’t say anything, just looked pensive and pointed to a dirt drive leading up to some more old raggedy trailers. A few pre-schoolers were outside looking more like un-cared-for urchins than loved children, though they were happily playing in their ignorance, apparently having known nothing else. “Do you have children?” I asked. She replied with just a simple and sad “no”.

A large scowling man looked our way from the untidy dirt yard. It was no welcome home look. At her request we stopped only half-way down the long drive. As she started to get out, I couldn’t leave without letting her know there was one person who cared what happened to her. “Angie,” I said, “God bless you.” She turned. “What’s your name?” she asked. I had forgotten to give her mine. “Linda,” I said. “Linda,” she repeated softly as she walked away toward that awful future. And I knew she would remember me, as I have very much remembered her. And wept.

Jesus said whatever we do for others we do for Him, even if just a cup of cold water in His name.

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8 thoughts on “Angie — One of the Lost Generation on A Lost Highway

  1. How heartbreaking and how kind of your to help her. Just imagine if she’d actually had to walk that distance, which is apparently what she expected to do. You’re right. Far too many children get too little instruction in how to live a good and Godly life. They’re born and left to grow up as best they can with no gudance…at least not GOOD and CARING guidence. I wonder what will happen to this lost young woman. 😦

    • Jo Ann,
      Good to hear from you. I don’t think I COULD have passed her by, but family members are saying I put myself in unnecessary danger. I don’t normally pick up hitchhikers, and certainly not a man. I’ll just have to rely on God and his gift of instinct. I agree heartily about the guidance, or lack of in some cases, for children.

      Sorry I’ve been out of touch. I’ve had to spend more and more time with the elderly lady next door. No word from the nursing home she’s applied to yet.

      As you may note, I’ve been nominated for The Versatile Bloggers Award. The nomination has to be made by a fellow blogger, and it’s nice to be included in that category. And thank you, again, for your continued friendship and support.

      • This is completely off topic, but I have a wonderful movie rec for you. It’s one of my all-time favorite movies and it stars Richard Dreyfuss, who I know you like because of the movie “Always.” It’s from 1980, called “The Competition,” and also stars Lee Remick and Amy Irving. Richard and Amy play competitors at a big, important international piano competition. It’s a terrific love story and the music is fantastic. Everyone involved does a truly remarkable job of actually looking like they’re playing. I’d be willing to bet the farm that you’ll love it. I just watched it again and immediately thought of you because of Richard Dreyfus.

        I got an alert about your Versatile Blogggers Award entry, but I haven’t read it yet. Had I known such an award existed, I’d have nominated you myself. 🙂

      • Mike and I tried to find a trailer for “The Competition”, but could only find the whole enchilada on youtube — fuzzy and grainy. We did find a clip of Dreyfus and Amy at the piano and Lee Remick coming in. Dreyfus was so young. But I like him better older. There is more character and life experience showing in his face, and he grew as an actor. Sounds like an interesting story. Will try to find it elsewhere. Thanks for thinking of me. I’m always in the market for a good movie, new or old.

  2. You have Netflix streaming, don’t you? Did you check to see if they have “The Competition’? I couldn’t find a trailer either. Maybe because the movie is from 1980…over 30 years ago. I would love for you to see it; I think you’d love it.

  3. I just checked Netflix. They don’t have The Competition on DVD, but I can’t check for streaming because I don’t subscribe to the streaming service. I’ll check some other places though.

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