Paying It Forward...

It was a nasty Saturday morning. Raining, windy, cold. Just a messy kind of day all around. I came walking out the door when one of our volunteers came to meet me. He said, “We got a car stuck over here.”

It gets really muddy around the building when it rains. It’s not uncommon for people to get stuck in the mud. I assumed this was another one of those situations. I walk around the building to get a look. It’s a van. And it’s in a ditch. And it’s not coming out. Not without a tow truck anyway.

The volunteer that brought it to my attention tells me that the owner is inside getting his food. He has no money, no idea what to do. He has already been told that he is going to have to call a tow truck. Not a whole lot he can do about it. The thing is...we can’t just leave him there. I guess we could take a “not my problem” approach. Or we could justify in our minds that we are doing enough by providing him with food for the week. But neither of those approaches would meet the man’s need. After all, the Bible does say, “But whoever has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?”

A couple of us get together and talk. We decide to call a wrecker service and pay for it for him. I do a quick google search and find the closest one. Monrovia Wrecker Service. Half a mile away. I call the guy.

“Hey man. I got a van that’s stuck up here at House of the Harvest.” Without a delay on the other end, “Be right there. Give me twenty minutes. Got to get my pants on.”

Some twenty minutes later I go out to meet the tow truck. “Hey thanks for coming out.” I reach into my wallet and he replies, “Nope. Not taking your money. This one’s on me.”

I argue. Sometimes I like to argue.  “Nope.” Again, “Not taking your money.” One last try, “Take something! Please.”

The driver replies, “You bought my dinner one night at Texas Roadhouse. Paid for all of us to eat. Let me do something for someone else, and pay you back.”

Can’t argue with that. I thank him multiple times and head back inside. About twenty minutes later one of our volunteers comes in. He walks over and says, “You know he pulled that man’s van out of the ditch and then took it over to MAPCO and filled up his tank? That man was in tears with gratitude.”

No I didn’t know that. But...I’m not  surprised. God always knows who to send.

“And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.” Matthew 5:41-42

Adam Walker