Most of you have probably never heard of The Sepulveda Pass. Sepulveda Boulevard is the street on the right in the picture above, running next to the 405 Freeway, right through the Santa Monica Mountains, about 7 miles through the Pass which joins The San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles.
Sepulveda Blvd. is a terrific street to drive, curving alongside the freeway, letting you avoid the terrible traffic on the 405 until the 405 gets so busy it spills over to the Boulevard. About 330,000 cars pass through it every day. (I think it has to be more, but that’s the stat)
I was recently driving out to the West Valley area through the Pass at around 11:00AM. The road is quite deserted at that time. The freeway in both directions was moving well and I could have taken it but I like the Pass…it’s curvy so I like to drive it, it’s quiet and it’s……well….it’s not the freeway which, frankly, brings on claustrophobia for me when it comes to a traffic-laden dead stop. This particular day, it was about 85 degrees and humid. The terrain is very dry with scrub and trees and bushes on both sides of the freeway and the boulevard.
Suddenly, there was a man of probably sixty walking in the same direction I was driving…..his skin was leather-tan, he looked sinewy, and he had what seemed like a backpack on his back; he was heading to the The San Fernando Valley, which was an easy four miles more of really deserted, dry, hot road. I wondered if I should pick him up.
Within five minutes, I ran across another man walking in the same direction and this man was carrying what looked like a container one buys gas for the car in….I thought maybe this guy’s car had run out of gas and he was trudging to it on this hideously hot dry road. I wondered if I should pick him up. Ahead, as I drove, I never did see a car off to the side of the road that looked like it was waiting for gas so I was wrong about the gas can.
I picked neither up. I felt badly. And I wondered about this. The Christian thing to do would have been pick either or both of them up. The smart thing to do was what I did as a woman driving alone in this extremely deserted road, even if it does run parallel and only feet away from one of the busiest freeways in the world.
I have picked up Hispanic maids in the hills before, women making their way down from The Pacific Palisades after work in large homes in the mountains, walking toward Sunset Boulevard and their buses home. I enjoyed helping them, that was easy, no threat…nice women.
But pick up two men? I should. We all should!
“But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” 1 John 3: 17-18
Would you have picked them up?
Is my having not picked them up an indictment of me or our society? And is Jesus really interested in my only doing that which would keep me safe, or in today’s pretty violent society’s influence on my choice? Yes, the obvious answer, as I drove along feeling a little guilty was “Who’d expect a woman to pick up a strange man in her car?” And, I’m totally behind that, but….
TOTALLY OFF TOPIC BUT I HAVE TO ADD IT: The flu season has started very early here in Los Angeles. (Influenza A)..2 more admitted to the hospital my mother was released from yesterday; be careful. Talk to your docs about having the vaccine a little earlier than usual. Be well!
Have a Happy Sunday……Help someone out……