A young man was driving home one evening, on a narrow two lane country road. Work in this small mid-western town was almost as slow as his old, beat-up Pontiac, but he never stopped looking. Ever since the factory closed, he'd been unemployed and now with winter on its way, the chill had finally hit home, he needed a job.
It was a lonely road, and not very many people had a reason to be on it, unless they were leaving. Most of his friends had already left, they had families to feed and dreams to fulfill, but he had stayed on. After all, he was born here and he loved the country. This was also where he had buried his mother and his father.
He was able to travel this road blind and tell you what was on either side. This came in handy as his headlights were not working. As darkness grew, light snow flurries began to fall and he knew he'd better get a move on.
He almost didn't see the old woman, stranded by the roadside. But even in the dim light of day, he could see she needed help. So he pulled up in front of her Mercedes and got out. His Pontiac was still sputtering when he approached her.
Even with a smile on his face the old woman was worried. No one had stopped to help, for the last hour or so. Was this young man going to hurt her? He didn't look very safe, he looked very poor and hungry. He only had on a thin jacket and now the snow was coming down rather heavily.
He could see that she was frightened, standing out there in the cold. He knew exactly how she felt, it was that chill which only fear can put you in. He calmly said, "I'm here to help you Ma'am. Why don't you wait in the car where it's warm? Oh, and by the way my name is Bryan."
Well, all she had, was a flat tire, but for an older woman, that was bad enough. However, Bryan crawled under the car looking for a place to put the jack. After skinning his knuckles a time or two, he was able to change the tire. Hands dirty and hurting, he began tightening up the lug nuts.
The older woman feeling a little less frightened, rolled down the window and began to talk. She told him that she was from St. Louis and was only passing through this town. She couldn't thank him enough for coming to her aid. Bryan just smiled as he closed her trunk.
She asked, "How much do I owe you?" Any amount would have been all right with her. She had already imagined all the awful things that could have happened had he not stopped.
Bryan never thought twice about the money. This was not a job to him. This was helping someone in need and besides it might have been his pregnant wife in the same situation. He would like to think that someone would have stopped to help her. He said,
"You don't owe me anything, I've been there too. Somebody once helped me out, the way I'm helping you!"
Brian continued, "If you really want to pay me back, the next time you see someone who needs help, you can give that person the assistance they need." then he added, "...and think of me!" He waited until she started her car and drove off safely. It had been a cold and depressing day, but Bryan felt good as he headed for home.
A few miles down the road, the old woman saw a small café. She went in to grab a bite to eat and to and take the chill off her bones, before she made the last leg of her trip home. It was just a dingy restaurant with two old gas pumps, but it was warm inside.
Her waitress came over and brought a clean towel to wipe her wet hair. She had a sweet smile, even being on her feet the whole day. The woman noticed that the waitress was nearly eight months pregnant, but she never let the strain and aches, change her attitude.
The old woman wondered how someone who seemed to have so little, be so kind and giving to a stranger. Then she remembered Bryan... After the woman finished her meal, and the waitress went to get change, for her hundred dollar bill, the woman slipped right out the door.
She was gone by the time the waitress came back. The waitress wondered where the woman could be, then she noticed something written on the napkin, under which were 9 one-hundred dollar bills.
As tears filled her eyes she read the note: "You don't owe me anything, I have been there too. Somebody once helped me out, the way I'm helping you!" the note continued, "If you really want to pay me back, here is what you do: Do not let this chain of love end with you!"
With tables to clear, sugar bowls to fill and people to serve the waitress made it through another shift. That night when she got home from work and climbed into bed, she began thinking about the money and what the woman had written.
How could the woman have known how much she and her husband needed? The money she gave would take them through the next two months and the baby's birth. Those were going to be hard months without her being able to work and her husband still looking for a job.
She knew how worried her husband was, and as he lay sleeping next to her, she gave him a soft kiss and whispered soft and low, "Everything's going to be all right, I love you Bryan!" - Author Unknown
I think this story says it all, when we practice random acts of kindness... we are never prepared for what we will receive!! Bryan had no way of knowing that changing one flat tire would bring the exact amount of money that would be needed for the next two months. What goes around... comes around!
I pray that when we see someone in need... we will be there to lend a hand and help. Not just for what it will bring us... but because it will be showing the love of Jesus, in and through us. We may never be paid back like Bryan was, still our Lord knows exactly what we need and He is our provider! Jehovah Jireh, Our provider!
Friend... be blessed today... by being a blessing today... to someone else in need!