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Friday, January 20, 2012


it was my lunch hour.  i ran across the highway to grab lunch quick at the gas station before the afternoon's patients arrived.  it was cold and snow crunched under foot.  the kind of cold that cuts through you and numbs hands in seconds.  i am hurrying back to my car.  away from the cold.

and he stops me.  bundled in his coat, looking a bit disheveled.  tells me he has lost his job.  he and his girlfriend have lost their trailer home and are headed to his parents to try to get back on their feet.  do i have any money i could spare for gas to get them to his parents in a town an hour away.

and i pause. and the lies of society and the walls of self-above-others scream to get in my car and leave.  rationalize that he is running a scam for money that is heard about on the news or in email.  feel almost offended that he asks me because i am so sure he is going to take advantage of me.  but i stop. and slowly my heart takes over. 

"let me see what i have in my wallet."  knowing i have about $4. then i go further against the protesting in my head.  ask him where his car is. {and the protesting justifies the asking, the involvement ~ if he can't answer then he's lying}. and he shows me a car next to a pump.  and i pull my car around.  and inside the girlfriend sleeps.  and i get out.  and i ask him how much gas he needs.   how full is the tank?  and he looks puzzled.  and responds they have only a little bit. 

and with the protests screaming and my mouth not speaking in the nicest tone me heart pulls out my wallet.  and my fingers are cold in the air.  and i see his breath as he watches me.  the girlfriend wakes up ~ our talking having woken her.  and she watches too.  and i lift the nozzle.  and with frigid fingers i swipe my card and begin to fill his tank.  and he watches.  and as the amount nears $40 he begins to protest.  "no really, that's plenty.  you don't have to do that. i'm sure that's plenty." he says.

and the lies that have been taught scream out.  see ~ he feels guilty because he's scamming you and you just spent 10x what you had in your wallet.  see ~ if you were going to fall for this you should have just gone with the $4.  and my heart wrestles and i fill his tank.  close the cap and replace the nozzle. and he starts to ask for my name and address to repay me.  and i stop him.  and the tender finally comes in my voice.  "no.  you just do the same for someone else when you get back on your feet."  and i smile.  and he blesses me. 

and before the protests can come the heart obeys God and i kneel next to him in his car.  ask to pray for them.  bless them with protection, provision and peace.  seat them in the lap of God and ask that He watch over them.  shut them in the car and watch them drive away.

and the cold comes back fierce and the wrestling continues the rest of the day.  i will have to tell pete.  tell him i spent $40 ~ might have been a scam.  but he rejoices when i tell him {and oh i am blessed}.  maybe it was a scam.  maybe it was not.  but he points out to me ~ what led me?  what did i listen to?  and i talk of my tone and my hesitation and my reservation.  and he talks of my action despite the conflict.  and he talks of a heart breaking forth with the walls of self-preservation down.  a heart that chose others over self.  and we talk of Jesus.  Jesus who reminds us that when we clothe the naked, feed the hungry, care for the poor we are really doing these things for Him, as if He were the one we were caring for.  and really if i'm going to make a choice don't i always want to chose Him?  maybe it was a scam.  maybe it wasn't.  but in the end don't i always want to chose to care for others.  to love others.  isn't that what He asks of us?  others above self.  love above all.  maybe, just maybe i am learning this lesson.  i am choosing this choice.


gianna said...

Oh, I LOVE THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Can I have you share this post on my blog?

I love this!

Natalie, I would so right there with you except that I would have just gotten in my car and driven away!
YEA for you to listen to Jesus!

Oh, praise Jesus!

librariane said...

Just saw this quote on someone's FB page and thought of you and this post:
I am much less interested in right circumstances than in right responses to whatever comes your way. -Jesus Calling