Do you remember the old cartoons which had the angel and the devil on the shoulders? Each one giving his own opinion or commentary to try to sway the individual. Well, that is what was going on in my head as I drove and pulled over into the parking lot. I will not even be so gracious to say that the bad side of me was the devil. It was my own fear, selfishness, etc. This is about how it went.
Bad: What have I gotten myself into?
Good: What if she really does need help? Wouldn't you want someone to help you?
Bad: She hasn't even walked back to Wal Mart yet. I should just drive off and get out of this situation while she can't see me. She doesn't know who I am.
Good: You told her you would meet her, and you need to keep your word.
Bad: She might have a gun in her purse, and she is going to come over here to my car and rob me.
Good: She has got to be in her 50's. You just went and did a Step class for an hour at the gym. You can take her.
Bad: She probably is on drugs. She probably just wants to scam me out of some money so she can go and buy drugs.
Good: Well, maybe she is on drugs, and God has put you in this position to witness to her. Maybe this is her intervention moment.
I was out of excuses. I pulled out my give envelope from my purse (subject of another blog?). Thirty five dollars. I got it out and put it to the side. I was ready for whatever came.
She approached the car shaking. She had run out of gas and was late for her job at Costco. She wanted to know if I could take her to get some gas. Skepticism filled my head. It was then that I noticed her Jesus keychain.
As she got in the car, I told her I had seen her keychain and asked her if she was a Christian. She said, "Yes, I am. I have been praying that God would send someone to help me." I told her that God had sent her a fellow Christian to help her as we drove off to the gas station.
I bought her a gas can and a gallon of gas. We headed back to her car which was sitting at a busy intersection in the left turn lane. As we pulled up I saw her license plate-GDSGRCE. God's grace. God's grace was surely one statement that described what was happening in that moment.
Cars were whizzing past, and I couldn't help but pray for safety. To help someone out just to be run over by a car would not be a good thing. We filled the car up with gas, but the car would still not start. Finally, we made the decision to go and get more gas.
On the way back to the gas station for the second time, we talked about how to start a car which had run out of gas. I told her I didn't know, because I had never run out of gas. We talked about older cars which you had to pump the gas pedal. Was there anything special you had to do to get a newer car to start which had run out of gas? Little did we know, another divine intervention was about to occur. When she went in to pay for the second gallon of gas, there was a man who came in and overheard her plight. He explained how to prime the gas pump before starting the car.
For those of you who don't know, this might be a good tip in case it ever happens to you. You turn the key of the car forward just as if you were going to listen to the radio, but don't start the car. Wait for 10 seconds and then turn the ignition off. Repeat this three times. On the fourth time, start the car.
We marveled at how God was working in this situation. We knew it was going to start this time. We talked on the way back about kids and what church we attended. We talked about how this had been such a blessing to her, but I admitted it had been a blessing to me as well. When we arrived back at the car, we filled it up with the second gallon of gas and did the ignition trick we were told. It started right up. We quickly said goodbye, and she said, "I don't even know you, but I love you in the Lord." It was a very sweet time.
Fifteen dollars and one hour later, she pulled away to go her way, and I pulled away to go my way. My eyes welled up with tears. I was ashamed. Ashamed of my thoughts of not wanting to help her or doubting how this could work out well. I almost missed the blessing. I almost missed it, because I was wanting to make a decision out of fear or selfishness.
I hope no one thinks I have written this to pat myself on the back in any way. Matthew 6:1 (NIV) says, "Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven." I actually thought long and hard about putting it on the blog, because I would rather have a reward from God than from man any day. I decided to though as a testimony from a sinner that did not want to help. God gets all the glory!
When I came home and told my husband what had happened, he said I did the right thing. I told him of my fears and how I really was afraid to help her. He said, "If you stop to help and they do something bad to you, then that is on them. If you don't stop to help them, then that is on you." This is my testimony for the day. Be open enough to allow God to use you to be a blessing to someone else. It is easy for me to bless someone I know or love, but the challenge is to extend that beyond my comfort zone to a perfect stranger. God is a big God who cares about the little things. I am so grateful I didn't miss the blessing.
"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider
others better than yourselves." Philippians 2:3