Picking up old men on the side of the road

Picking up old men on the side of the road: Encouragment to Be Better

After dropping off some borrowed items at a friend's house, little droplets of water started to pelt my windshield. I turned on the wipers and noticed an elderly gentleman hurry to find cover under a tree at the intersection. The clouds were ominous, threatening their usual Florida summer storm. I looked in my side view mirror to see what this gentleman's course of action was going to be with the looming downpour inching closer and closer. He had none, so I threw my car in reverse, rolled down my window and asked if I could give him a ride. His hesitation was palpable, but I looked pretty harmless and the rain was coming down hard, so with some cajoling, he got in the car.

Let me say now, that I am not in the habit of picking up strangers. And when I am alone, I am even less prone to stop and help a man I don't know, thanks to all of my health and safety classes from middle school. As a woman in today's society, it is a big no-no to allow an unknown figure into your vehicle, regardless of the time of day or the location that you found them. Knowing all of these things and weighing them all, I knew I had to give him a ride. There was a check in my spirit that I couldn't shake, so I said yes.

Long story, but I was able to get in contact with his daughter through a wonderful thing called Google and get him back to where he belonged. He was lost, not entirely sure where he lived or where he was going, but he was so grateful that I had insisted he get into my car. And his daughter was also grateful and confused as to why a stranger would help her father.

What struck me the most about the whole experience was this 84 year old's comment right before his daughter came to pick him up.

He said, 
"There aren't many people like you left anymore."

I want to change that. 

Can I challenge you to stop this week and look around to see who might need an act of kindness? You never know how your little gesture of love, in the name of Jesus, can make an impact in the lives of others. I didn't invite him in to my car to receive accolades or for a good blog post or anything like that. I saw a man who needed God's love, and my little car, shelter from the rain is the way I could show that for 30 minutes. And it brightened my day to love someone else the way God loves me: with no conditions. 

Show others that love this week. Let's make more people remark about how un-like everyone else we are. Isn't that our purpose?


Mika said...

Sweet reminder to live life focusing on others instead of living in our safe bubble. Thank you, Karissa!

Nicole said...

Thank you for sharing this story! Praying it stays with me. What a way love. Yes, that's our purpose; Lord, let me never forget that.

Dawn said...

My heart is encouraged reading your testimony and saddened that it is true, there are few left who willingly help. We live in a day when if we trust we are likely to be hurt and if we choose to ignore we are heartless. I am thankful you shared your story and grateful you obeyed the nudge to help. Having someone close who has had to depend on strangers gently pointing them home it is a blessing to hear the Samaritan message is strong.