38: Turn Around

38: Turn Around

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miracles and More

Turn Around

Miracles come in moments. Be ready and willing.

~Dr. Wayne Dyer

I had just gone through the drive-through and pulled onto Sunset Road. The car was beginning to smell like fried chicken as I made my way to I-77 to head back to work. I really wasn’t paying much attention to anything. Then I heard a voice say, Turn around.

I looked in the rearview mirror to confirm I was alone in the car. I reached down and turned on the radio to make sure it hadn’t been playing, then turned it off again. I looked in my mirrors some more, but there was no traffic behind me.

When I got to the bridge, I heard the voice again: Turn around. It startled me and I looked at the two cars on the other side of the bridge for answers. That’s when I saw the pedestrian on the other side, and realized a second later that he was standing on the wrong side of the railing.

As soon as I crossed that bridge, I turned around and went back.

I pulled up beside the man and got out, leaving my car parked in the lane. He was looking at the traffic below as I leaned on the rail next to him and started a conversation. I asked him if he was thinking what I thought he was thinking. He said he was sure jumping on the freeway wouldn’t hurt for long. I asked him if he had given any thought to the driver who would hit him.

That led to talking about his battle with crack and the hold it had on his life. I told him I knew a little about that, but what was important is you can only beat it if you’re here to fight it. The tools he needed for the fight were inside him.

As we were talking, two squad cars of Charlotte’s Finest pulled up. The police officers quietly got out and grabbed the man as we were talking. They handcuffed him and took him away. I got back in my car and drove to work.

I have no idea what happened to that man after that. I just know he did not kill himself that day. I don’t know if what we talked about meant much, but talking was better than jumping.

If I ever hear that voice again, you better believe I will pay attention.

~K. Drew Fuller

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