March 31, 2016

Rush to Judgment

Following a blowout that one of our daughters had on her way back to college years ago, we were parked at a gas station unloading Mary’s trunk to retrieve the spare tire. We were three hours from home and still three hours from our destination. I was with Randy in our car and our two daughters were in Mary’s car.

A stranger with dirty, stringy, greasy hair and a wild look in his eyes that instantly made me uneasy – walked up to us and asked if he could help, and I promptly replied that my husband was putting the spare tire on the car and we didn’t need any help.

Just as I said we didn’t need any help, Randy told me he couldn’t get the last lug nut off, and he had tried with every wrench in his toolbox.
Aaron, or should I say, Crazy Aaron as the girls dubbed him, pipes up, “I’m a mechanic. I can help you. There’s an auto parts store down the road, I can take you there to get the right tool.”  Randy agreed and jumped into a beat up old pickup truck with Crazy Aaron and headed to the store.
They came back a little later and Crazy Aaron popped that last lug nut off with the new tool. Randy whispered to me, “He drives like a psychopath! I’m glad we’re back!” Aaron proceeded to put the spare tire on, he seemed eager to help, and Randy pulled me aside to softly tell me that Aaron had shared that he had recently lost his job. Randy told me he wanted to pay him generously for helping us. I had cash in my purse and Randy took out more than I would have guessed Aaron’s help was worth. But God had already convicted Randy to give him above what seemed appropriate.
Aaron with the stringy, greasy, dirty hair and wild look - had tears in his eyes and his voice trembled when he saw how much money Randy was giving him. He said to us, “You have no idea what you have done for me today! Thank you so much!”
I felt about an inch tall and my rush to judgment now had me swimming in shame. I apologized to him for brushing him off when he first arrived on the scene. And what was he doing on the scene? He had run out of gas and was able to coast to the same gas station where we pulled into after the blowout. He had to call his dad and plead for money to put gas in his truck. His dad had just arrived and gave him twenty dollars and told him, there wouldn’t be any more where that came from.
Then, Aaron turned around and saw us and came over to help.
I still think about that day and wonder, did God send Aaron to help us, or us to help Aaron? The answer is both. God crossed our paths to help each other and to meet our needs - and He also taught me not to make quick assumptions about people.
You know, when Aaron smiled, he didn’t look so scary anymore. He left us with a smile that day as he drove off in his pickup truck, driving a little reckless if you ask me.
We all smiled too, as he drove away, absorbing the events that had transpired that hot August afternoon. God had been very good to all of us, even Aaron.

And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

March 28, 2016

Waiting For Spring Again

I was really enjoying our early spring, flowers that made it through the mild winter and were emerging from the ground and in flower pots and planters. Trees with those brand new spring green leaves signaling the end of winter. I even posted a pretty picture of tulips in our neighborhood just two weeks ago with my post Touches of Spring.

Now, that bright and colorful patch of tulips looks like this.

The rest of our neighborhood looks worse.

Last Wednesday night after 10pm, the worst hail storm I have ever seen blasted through our subdivision and blew out windows and skylights and pummeled rooftops. (We will be getting a new roof now.)

For two minutes the sound was deafening like I have never heard before as the house was assaulted with the strongest force of hail I have ever experienced. Like a snow drift, we had this piled up right outside our patio door. You can also see my flowers pots filled up with hail.

The street looked like this, and if you think you are seeing green on the white hail, it is the leaves that were ripped from the trees mixed in with the hail.

The next morning I discovered that many of those leaves ended up on our front porch.

And was surprised that these two bushes, which had leaves the day before, still had a mound of hail around them!

As neighbors gathered in yards and compared notes on how many windows were broken or how much roof and fence damage had occurred, we all remembered that not many miles down the road is the damage from the day after Christmas tornadoes. Homes totally destroyed. 

We all agreed we didn’t have anything to complain about. In fact, we realized we have much to be thankful for. 

And now we are waiting for spring to emerge a second time around.