A friend of ours had accepted a different role in our company. It was a bittersweet announcement, to be sure. We were all glad to have her use her specialized skills more effectively, but we weren’t glad to have her use them in another location.
A group of us had gathered around a small table to thank our friend for everything she’d given us. It was also an opportunity to sit, laugh, rekindle our personal relationships, and simply talk informally about important things.
“The past few weeks have been interesting for me!” said Christina Schmidt.
Christina, who is one of my favorite people in the world, just happens to also be the embodiment of goodness, strength of character, and caring. I’ve never met anyone with a bigger heart or greater resolve. When she speaks, my ears yearn for more.
“I was in the grocery store with my kids, the other day, when I watched a woman mistreating her child,” Christina said. “Her behavior was so awful, I feared for the welfare of her daughter. So, I followed her out of the store.”
Once the woman left the store she rolled her grocery cart up to her car, literally threw the small child into the back seat and then scratched the girl’s arms, pulled patches of hair from her scalp and violently hit her. Christina stepped up and stopped this abuse.
“Son, go get our car and pull it here, behind this car so she can’t leave,” Christina calmly requested.
He quickly went and drove the car over as requested. Christina gathered the injured child out of the other car, protected the child by using her own body as a shield, called 911 and child protective services, all as the woman continually berated and threatened her. Others, encouraged by supplemental strength from Christina, then began to gather around, offering added support until the police arrived.
When the police arrived, they saw the mangled child and immediately gave her shelter. Then, they arrested the girl’s mother.
“I couldn’t believe it!” Christina said. “The woman lashed out at her child as she cowered in the back seat. Then, when she was finished, she stood up straight, fixed her own hair and said, ‘Good. I feel better now!’ ”
As she spoke, I looked across the table at Christina. My gaze was of admiration and reverence.
Christina was a counselor, prior to using her specialized skills, just as effectively, in our business. Now, we were glad to have her using those skills to benefit someone else, a small girl who needed protection.
While seated together in our office, our group thanked her for everything she’d done for a child we didn’t know, but deeply loved, just because she was a child. It was also an opportunity for us to sit, rethink our societal relationships, and simply talk informally about really important things, such as doing more personally, to protect the smallest amongst us.
“I need to get back to volunteering,” Christina said with resolve in her voice.
I whispered back, “We should all be more like you Christina, my champion and guardian of important things!”
Lynn Butterfield lives in Erda and is a managing broker for a real estate company.