Following a blowout that one of our daughters had on her way back to college a few 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 with Randy and me in our car and our two daughters in Mary’s car.
Mary’s trunk was filled with back to college items, which she and her sister Amy were helping their father stack on the pavement. I was preparing to help also when someone appeared out of nowhere as I stepped out of our car. A stranger with dirty, stringy, greasy hair and a wild look in his eyes that instantly made me uneasy 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. I was thinking to myself, I hope he accepts this answer and walks away. He basically gave me the creeps.
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, piped up, “I’m a mechanic. I can help you. There’s an auto parts store down the road, and 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.
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 and beyond what seemed the appropriate amount.
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. My rush to judgment now had me swimming in shame. I apologized to him for brushing him off so quickly 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 pleaded for money to put gas in his truck. His dad had just arrived and gave him twenty dollars and told him, “there wasn’t going to 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 Crazy Aaron.
And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
If I am not the only one who has ever made a rush to judgment about a person, will you share your story and tell us how/what God taught you through that experience? Maybe we can learn from each other…
By Kathy at In Quiet Places