One Sunday morning when my wife and I were getting ready to go to church, the phone rang. It was my son, Jameson, calling to tell us that the wheel had just come off his big 4 x 4 pick up truck, as he and his family were on their way to church. Thankfully, he, his wife and two girls were okay. He had only very recently gotten his truck out of the shop where the wheels had been rotated. Apparently, someone didn’t tighten the lug nuts enough. This mishap could have resulted in someone being seriously injured!
When I arrived at the scene to help, I was amazed! There were two men working on his truck. They had a jack under it and were putting the retrieved wheel back on. As they were working, my son started telling me more about the incident. He said when the wheel left the truck, it went rolling very fast past him. Then he saw these men take off in their truck to retrieve it. [Keep in mind… this was a big wheel which could have hurt someone as it rolled away.] One of the men blocked off traffic and picked it up. After returning with the wheel, one of the men asked my son if he had found any of the lug nuts. My son said no. Jameson said these men once again jumped into action and insisted on taking the wheel to Pep Boys to have it checked out. They even purchased a new set of lug nuts! Now they were reinstalling it.
I was just amazed at the generosity that this man and his friend showed my son. I thanked them repeatedly and so did Jameson. I told the man who had done most of the work, “You are an angel!” I offered him money, but he refused it. I insisted, “No, please take it. You have been so very kind.” Finally he agreed and told me he was going to put it in the offering plate at church.
That afternoon I couldn’t stop thinking about the random act of kindness this man and his friend displayed. I felt God had a message here, but I just couldn’t wrap my mind around it. Here we were… all going to church, and this misfortune occurred. I missed church obviously, but my wife and I were able to see the service televised on TV Monday night. Our minister told a story about a songwriter Bill Withers who wrote the song, “Lean on Me.” This is the story….
Bill Withers, as a young black man, had to travel to visit his ill mother. He purchased a used car that unfortunately had four worn tires. On his journey, while passing through Birmingham Alabama, he had a flat tire. It happened during the time when there were so many racial problems. He was scared, because he didn’t know what to do. All of a sudden a Caucasian man walked up to him and said, “Looks like you have a problem!” Then the man disappeared. Bill thought that was kind of strange, and it didn’t reassure him in his present situation. Not long after, he spotted a man in the distance walking towards him with a tire and a set of tools. It was the very same man! The man put the tire on the car for Bill and went on his way. A random act of generosity!
After our minister finished his story I looked at my wife and said, “That’s pretty cool!” Was this a coincidence? I think not – it was the good Lord letting us know that there is still hope in the world, if we just continue to love one another and be kind. The kindness and generosity of those two African American men changed all of our lives that Sunday.