driving home one evening, on a two lane country road. Work in this
small Midwestern community, was almost as slow as his beat up
he never quit looking. Ever since the factory closed, he'd been
and with winter raging on, the chill had finally hit home.
It was a lonely road. Not very many people had a reason to be on
they were leaving town. Most of his friends had already left. They
families to feed and dreams to fulfill. But he stayed on. After
was where he buried his mother and father. He was born here and he
He could go down this road blind, and tell you what was on either
with his lights not working, which came in handy. It was starting
dark and light snow flurries were coming down. He'd better get a
You know, he almost didn't see the old lady, stranded on the side
road. 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
sputtering when he approached her.
Even with the smile on his face, she was worried. No one had
stopped to help
for the last hour or so. Was he going to hurt her? He didn't look
looked poor and hungry. He could see that she was frightened,
there in the cold.
He knew how she felt. It was that chill which only fear can put in
said, "I'm here to help you ma'am. Why don't you wait in the
car where it's
warm? By the way, my name is Bryan,"
Well, all she had was a flat tire, but for an old lady, that was
Bryan crawled under the car looking for a place to put the jack,
his knuckles a time or two.
Soon he was able to change the tire. But he had to get dirty and
hurt. As he was tightening up the lug nuts, she rolled down the
began to talk to him. She told him that she was from St. Louis and
just passing through. She couldn't thank him enough for coming to
Bryan just smiled as he closed her trunk.
She asked him how much she owed him. Any amount would have been
with her. She had already imagined all the awful things that could
happened had he not stopped. Bryan never thought twice about the
was not a job to him. This was helping someone in need, and God
were plenty who had given him a hand in the past.
He had lived his whole life that way, and it never occurred to him
any other way. He told her that if she really wanted to pay him
next time she saw someone who needed help, she could give that
assistance that they needed, and Bryan added, "And think of
me." He waited
until she started her car and drove off. It had been a cold and
day, but he felt good as he headed for home, disappearing into the
A few miles down the road the lady saw a small cafe. She went in
to grab a
bite to eat, and take the chill off before she made the last leg
of her trip
home. It was a dingy looking restaurant. Outside were two old gas
whole scene was unfamiliar to her. The cash register was like the
of an out of work actor, it didn't ring much.
Her waitress came over and brought a clean towel to wipe her wet
had a sweet smile, one that even being on her feet for the whole
couldn't erase. The lady noticed that the waitress was nearly
pregnant, but she never let the strain and aches change her
old lady wondered how someone who had so little could be so giving
stranger. Then she remembered Bryan.
After the lady finished her meal, and the waitress went to get
her hundred-dollar bill, the lady slipped right out the door. She
by the time the waitress came back. She wondered where the lady
then she noticed something written on the napkin under which was
There were tears in her eyes when she read what the lady wrote. It
"You don't owe me anything, I have been there too. Somebody
once helped me
out, the way I'm helping you. If you really want to pay me back,
what you do: Do not let this chain of love end with you,"
Well, there were tables to clear, sugar bowls to fill, and people
but she never stopped thinking about the lady. That night when she
from work and climbed into bed, she was thinking about the money
the lady had written.
How could the lady have known how much she and her husband needed
the baby due next month, it was going to be hard She knew how
husband was, and as he lay sleeping next to her, she gave him a
and whispered soft and low, "Everything's gonna be all right.
I love you,
We are never prepared for what we expect.
THE GRACE OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, THE LOVE OF GOD,
AND THE COMMUNION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
BE WITH ALL OF YOU. 2 Corinthians 13:13