Coming in contact with the power and love of God is overwhelming. Having knowledge of His love is one thing, but seeing it in action is a humbling and transformative experience.
I woke up early this morning to drive my sister to work because her car wasn’t starting. On my way back, my front left tire blew violently on the highway just as my gas light came on. I freaked out, put my hazards on, and quickly merged right to get off the road. I felt the adrenaline so fiercely it made my stomach ache. (Ironically enough, Ingrid Michelson’s “Be Ok” was on the radio as this happened.) The first thing I did was email my professor on my phone to tell her that I probably wouldn’t be in class today. Then I texted my sister and Mom to tell them what happened. I closed my eyes, sat in my car and thought about how much money a new tire would cost and how much I couldn’t afford it. I can’t even afford an old used tire. I was on hold with AAA when I saw a brown wagon-sedan pull up behind me. I felt relieved as I hung up the phone and rolled down my window.
He was an older man with a thin face and kind blue eyes. He asked if I had a spare tire that he could put on my car. I said yes and popped the trunk. While he changed my tire we asked each other’s names and a few other questions. His name was Kevin. I told him I was leaving for school today after visiting my sister over the weekend. He told me he was on his way to visit his mother along with a few others who lived in the area. He was driving beside me when my tire blew and saw me pull off the road. He got off the highway and turned around so that he could see if I needed help. I did need help, but he didn’t stop at just putting on the spare. He told me to get off at the next exit because he knew there was a tire shop nearby. I didn’t have my purse with me (or any money anyway) but he said not to worry about it. I couldn’t believe my ears. I thought I had heard him wrong because the cars passing by were so loud and we had to shout to talk. After finding a Tire Kingdom, he bought me two new tires, told me to have a blessed day and left.
Accepting help from a stranger leaves an uncomfortable feeling of helplessness and gratitude. I felt helpless because there was nothing I could do to get myself out of the situation, and because I knew there wasn’t any way I could ever pay him back for his kindness. I felt grateful that someone did stop and help. He didn’t have to go out of his way to help me at all, let alone buy me tires, but he did. All the while, I felt unworthy of his attention and that I didn’t deserve to be so completely taken care of by a stranger. He treated me as if I were part of his family. I felt God’s love through this experience. I cannot save myself from sin and can never repay Him for His faithfulness and redeeming love. I am grateful He would notice and take care of me, insignificant in the grand scheme of things as I am. God didn’t have to save us; He wanted to because He wanted to be with us, because He loves us. This kind of love is not something you can walk away from, because it changes everything. This morning was an amazing experience to remind me of that.
Kevin Ford is the senior pastor at Belmont Foursquare Church in Belmont, NC and I look forward to visiting him on an upcoming Sunday. If you live in the Charlotte area, I suggest you visit him too.