Saturday, July 21, 2007

Helping the Helpless

Before I share this story, let me confess that my normal response, when I'm by myself and I see a stranded motorist is to assume that they'll be OK and that they're probably waiting on somebody they had just talked to on their cell phone. Fortunately, this time Krista was in the car with me and events took a different turn.

So, Sunday evening, in Chattanooga, we headed from the hotel over to the mall. We couldn't decide which way to go, so, looking at our handy map given to us at the hotel, we decided to cut through the middle of town even though there were larger roads going around the city. At that point the torrential downpour began. We were driving through 1/2 foot-puddles in the middle of 3rd Avenue in downtown Chattanooga.

It must have been providence, because we were diverted by standing water and trying to follow directions on the map, and ended up going over a large bridge where someone stood next to a car beneath a half-destroyed umbrella, getting drenched. When I saw them, I was sure they looked like they had just called and were waiting on someone - even though they weren't sitting in the car and were getting poured on. It's amazing at how well I analyze a situation. Well, Krista suggested we make a U-Turn and see if she needed help. We pulled up, and Shirley was standing there in the rain, out of gas, without any money, crying, with no one to help. So we got got a gas can at the station a block down the road and when we got back to her car, her hands were raised in the air and she was shouting, "Thank you, Jesus!" So, we took her to get her enough gas to get her home, and after telling us how we showed up after she prayed for God to send someone, she was on her way. I wondered on this Sunday evening, how many people that called themselves Christians drove by and had a good excuse to not stop. I think it wasn't until a while later that I realized that I was those people.

Ironically, I think that if we had actually ended up going to church that morning, we would have had a different day, and wouldn't have had that opportunity to actually do the Lord's work for a change.

I still wonder why I don't take what Matthew recorded Jesus saying in Matthew 22 or Matthew 25 more seriously.


  1. Jim,
    I was actually in Chattanooga (my hometown) that weekend visiting my mom and picking up my kids. I wish I'd know you would be there; we could have gotten together. I'd love to see your little ones.

  2. That's crazy! I didn't know you were from Chattanooga! How far are you from there?