7 – Another Man’s Experience
Lest anyone get the idea that my experiences are unique, I’d like to tell the story of another man which came to me via email as I shared an early version of my stories. This man is a physician who lives and works in the area of Denver, Colorado, U.S.A. The weather was cold as the Christmas season approached.
The doctor was driving home from a meeting in heavy evening traffic when his car spluttered and died. It was barely able to coast out of the traffic into a gas station. The engine wouldn’t turn over at all. As the man contemplated his next move, he saw a young woman walk out of the store, stumble and fall into a gas pump. He got out to see if she was okay.
The woman had not slipped, but had misstepped because she was overcome with weeping. As the doctor helped her to her feet, she dropped something. He retrieved it for her. It was a five cent coin, a nickel. The woman’s situation then became obvious to this Good Samaritan: the tears, the very old Chevrolet Suburban crammed full of stuff, three kids, one of whom was in a car seat, and a gas pump that read $4.95. He guessed that the kids were hungry.
The doctor offered to help, but the woman just kept repeating, “I don’t want my kids to see me crying.” He guided her to the side of the gas pump opposite her car. She was driving to California and was under a lot of stress. “Were you praying?”, the doctor asked. Startled, she looked at the man, backing up a little. He assured her that he was not crazy and said, “God heard you and sent me.”
He put his credit card into the gas pump’s card reader so she could fill her car. While she pumped, he walked to the hamburger restaurant next door and bought enough food for the children as well as for the woman. He also bought gift certificates for the family’s future need. The grateful mother gave the food to her children, who ate like wolves. The doctor and the young woman stood next to the gas pump and talked as they ate french fries together.
The family was from Kansas City. Her boyfriend had left her two months previously. Her financial situation became desperate. She hadn’t spoken with her parents in about five years, but swallowed her pride and called them. They opened their arms to their daughter and invited her to live with them in California while she got on her feet. All she owned was in the car. She told the kids that they were going to California for Christmas, but not that they were going to live there.
The doctor gave her his gloves and a little hug. He prayed with her for safety. As the weary physician returned to his car, the much encouraged woman called after him and asked, “So, are you an angel or something?” This time, it was his turn to shed a few tears. He turned to her and replied, “Sweetie, at this time of year angels are really busy, so sometimes God uses regular people.”
He concluded his story by noting that his car started right away and got him home without a problem. He planned to have a mechanic check it, but didn’t anticipate that there would be anything wrong with his car. He was awestruck to realize that God had used him to answer a stranger’s prayer.
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