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