Flat tireHe almost didn’t see the elderly woman, stranded on the side of the road in the rain. But even in the twilight, he could see she needed help. So, he pulled up in front of her Mercedes and got out.

Even with the smile on his face, she was scared. No one had stopped to help for the last hour. Was he going to hurt her? He didn’t look safe; he looked poor and unkempt. He could see that she was frightened, and he knew how she felt. So, he said, “I’m here to help you, ma’am. Why don’t you wait in the car where it’s warm? By the way, my name is Bryan Anderson.”

All she had was a flat tire, but for her, that was monumental. She popped the trunk and Bryan got the jack and spare. Then, he got down on his knees in the wet gravel feeling for where to place the jack. He skinned his knuckles a time or two.

With the tire changed and everything put a way, the woman rolled down the window and told him that she was only passing through and she couldn’t thank him enough for coming to her aid. Bryan just smiled. The lady asked how much she owed him. But Bryan declined her offer. This was not a job to him. This was helping someone in need, and God knows there were plenty who had given him a hand in the past. And now he was happy to be able to help her.

Bryan said, “If you really want to pay me back, the next time you see someone in need just help them and think of me.” He waited until she started her car and drove off. It had been a cold and depressing day, but he felt good as he headed for home.

A few miles down the road the lady saw a small café and went in to grab a bite to eat. It was a dingy looking restaurant, but a waitress approached with a sweet smile. You’d never know she’d been on her feet all day. The lady noticed the waitress had to be nearly eight months pregnant, and she didn’t let the strain and aches sour her attitude. Then the lady thought of Bryan.

When the lady finished her meal, she paid with a hundred-dollar bill. As the waitress went to get change, the lady quickly slipped out the door and was gone. The waitress, wondering where the lady could be, noticed something written on the napkin. Tears welled up in her eyes as she read, “You don’t owe me anything. Somebody helped me today, and I am returning the favor by helping you.” Under the napkin were four more $100 bills!

That night when the waitress got home and climbed into bed, she thought about the money and the note. How could that lady have known how much she and her husband needed that sum? With the baby due next month, it was going to be hard, but the near $500 gift would make the difference. She knew how worried her husband was as he lay sleeping next to her. She leaned over and gave him a soft kiss, “Everything’s going to be all right. I love you, Bryan Anderson.”

Scripture Reading: Romans 12:9–13

Personal Application

  • Think of those who have helped you in the past and thank the Lord for them.
  • Look for opportunities to help others in need, expecting nothing in return.

Jim Grassi image and signature  Jim Grassi, D. Min.

We cherish any verse in Scripture that reminds us to keep focused and intentional about evangelism and discipleship. “But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:5