Creating Safe Spaces

I’m in NYC on a filming trip. The rental car company gave me an EasyPass so I could move quickly through the tolls. At the 1st booth I encountered, I discovered mine did NOT work properly. The gate didn’t lift, & there was no way to pay manually. I couldn’t back up - there were already 8 cars behind me.

As I tried to figure out what to do, the honking began. Then unkind hand gestures. Then someone screaming out their window. I started to get anxious, & I had no way to solve the problem.

After a minute, a police officer came out from one of the booths. I braced myself emotionally to get yelled at. (I’m in NYC, right?) He walked up to my window & said, “Just a sec.” Then he moved down the line of cars, shouting to all the people behind me: “This guy’s doing the best he can! Stop honking your horns & shut up or I will give all of you tickets!” He came back to my window & calmly said, “Let’s fix this.” Within 30 seconds, the gate was lifted, & I was rolling again.

In that moment, he did more than solve my problem. He became my PROTECTOR. Beyond fixing the issue, he made me feel safe in a moment when I was powerless to take care of myself.

FEELING SAFE in vulnerable places is a gift. If you have the opportunity to give it, please do. And if you have protectors in your life, you are blessed… be grateful.

Next time I encounter someone in a vulnerable space, I want to do more than fix their problem. I want to use it as an opportunity to help them feel LOVED.