Monday, January 9, 2012

Being Considerate of the Needs of Others

When I pulled into the gas station there was simply something about a gentleman standing at the pump. But I didn't know what. I jumped out of my car to pop in for a Naked berry smoothie. I had just done a two hour intense workout and I was drained. As I was in line, he came in. I walked away from the line and then came back. Out of his pocket he withdrew a fist full of change.

"Should I lay it on the counter," he asked the attendant. "There are eight dollars here."

"No," she said. "Give it to me. I'll count it. But wait right there though."

As the attendant counted mostly dimes and nickles and a few quarters, they seem to sparkle. They were so clean. Shortly thereafter his wife came in and gave him a gentle hug, but not before giving more change.

"Here, I found another dollar," said the wife, lovingly caressing her husband's shoulders, handing the change to the attendant, and stepping back out quickly.

"Please give the change back to him," I said. "If you don't mind sir, I'd like to fill up your gas tank today."

"Really? You would?" he asked.

Yes, sir," I said, making sure to put that particular handle on his name again. Not being able to adequately provide for your family must be humiliating.

"Thank you so very much," he said. "May God richly bless you."

I waited for them to fill their van up. It took some time. My car is smaller.

"They must be on e flat," the attendant said.

"That's okay," I responded.

"Look," said the attendant, "he's crying."

After paying for the gas, I thought of how I might leave the station without running into them to avoid a sense of obligation. But that didn't work. They were both coming in my direction with tears streaming down their faces.

"We just asked God if he could provide a means for us to get to prayer," the wife said. "God answered our prayers."

She gave me a big hug and thanked me profusely. I mentioned that there is no other reason for our existence on the planet, save to be a help to one another.

"Do you have little ones?" I asked.

"Yes, the husband said. "We have four. Two are in the van."

"Beautiful. "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus," I quoted.

"Amen," they responded.

"Now, Father, we ask you to bless our dear sister 100 fold," he said. "Whatever her needs are, meet them. It's done."

There was a big group hug. When I got into my car I wept. Let's always be sure to consider the needs of others. In doing so we are blessed.


rebecca said...

You finally did it. You made me cry.

This was so touching and so in touch with today's economic struggles. I felt for that man and how humiliating it must have been for him to stand there while the attendant counted the change intimating he stay just in case it was less than what he said. How blessed that you were there today to cross each other's paths; how blessed both of you were to have connected; and, how gracious and kind and RIGHT of you to have done what you did. I always feel that those that are in a better financial need should always lend a helping hand to those in need when possible. It is God's way and it is the way we should all live our lives. You made the world a little better today Judith for two people who will never, ever forget your kindness. God bless you.


mrs.missalaineus said...

things like this restore my faith in humanity- thank you for sharing this as well as sharing your resources with that family


paul walter said...

It can be a purifying thing, doing some thing helpful like that for someone else on a bad trot.
Wasn't it (loosely) Nietzsche who defined the better person as the one with "give" or "wherewithall" rather than the muscular bully so many mistakenly took his "obermann" to mean?

Judith Ellis said...

Many blessings, Rebecca.

Judith Ellis said...

Alaina - There is only love.

Judith Ellis said...

Paul - Nietzsche is one of my most respected philosophers for good reasons. We often mistake truth for bravado and often we do not look beyond the obvious to obtain it.