What I Saw

What I Saw January 21, 2012

I am a pretty smart cookie. As a matter of fact, I think my brain is one of my best assets. I love to learn and learn quickly…. Except for my sense of direction. A guy I know used to say to me “You couldn’t find your way out of a wet paper sack.” Ha! That’s a funny southern sayin’… and even funnier because it’s about true.

I am dependant on my GPS. But sometimes it just won’t take me the route I want to go. And I don’t have enough directional sense to strike out on my own. Plus gas is just too expensive to go driving around for days. I digress.
Leaving the radio station last night, I asked Steve which way he went home. “I want to follow you.” I said. “That’s a shorter way for me to go, but I am not sure how to do it.” “OK, but I gotta get gas right up here,” he replied. So I followed my friend to the gas station and parked behind his car while he filled up. My mind was filled with thoughts about the show and an incredible second chance story.
This is what I saw.
Steve swiped his card and began pumping gas. A car pulled next to the opposite tank. A slender young man with perfect hair took the gas nozzle off the hanger, swiped his card, and made a face. His hands flung in the air as he turned to the person in the passenger seat. The passenger and the guy exchanged exasperated words; it seemed his debit card was declined. The guy at the pump spoke to Steve, and after a couple of exchanges, the passenger got out, walked around the car and got in the driver’s seat.
Now, this passenger was dressed in girls clothes and wearing heavy make-up, but was clearly not a girl. The passenger, now the driver, backed the car between the pumps, so now their car was behind Steve and in front of me. Then the driver got out of the car and became the passenger again.
Steve finished filling up his own car, then put gas in the stranger’s car. They were chatting a bit, the guy pointed, Steve looked down at his shirt, shook his head and laughed. Steve’s t-shirt read “Real Men Worship God.” Steve placed the nozzle back in the pump. Then my friend looked the stranger in the eye, reached out and shook the guy’s hand.
I imagine I had a stupid grin on my face. I just witnessed my friend put his words into action.
This is what I saw.
I just saw a guy who had no money, was out of gas, who would be labeled a faggot by society’s glance, and who had a partner dressed in drag sitting in the car. This couple I imagine would not be welcomed into most churches. Luckily for them, Jesus was not sitting at the altar waiting for them. The hands of Jesus were waiting at the gas pump. These hands pumped their gas, paid for it, and reached out for a gesture of friendship. These hands met a stranger’s need, paid the price, and made physical contact- without question, without debt owed, without judgement.

The love of Jesus, put into action is what I saw.

‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or homeless or shivering or sick or in prison [may I add “overdrawn and needing gas”?]and didn’t help?’ He will answer them, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you failed to do one of these things to someone who was being overlooked or ignored, that was me- you failed to do it to me.’ Matthew 25 44-45 MSG
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  • What an awesome story. I don’t know Steve, but have engaged with him on this blog as well as on Facebook a couple of times, but with me living in South Africa, I would probably never get the chance to shake his hand.

    I have know he is a true man of God, but this blows me away, and convicts me on so many levels.

    Thanks for sharing this story!

    • Oh gosh!

      Coenraad! I am the worst of sinners. A man so blessed to be continually loved and forgiven by an all-merciful God!

      Thank you for stopping by and always being an encourager.

      I am going to post my side of this story tomorrow. I hope you’ll check it out!

      –Steve

  • What an awesome story. I don’t know Steve, but have engaged with him on this blog as well as on Facebook a couple of times, but with me living in South Africa, I would probably never get the chance to shake his hand.

    I have know he is a true man of God, but this blows me away, and convicts me on so many levels.

    Thanks for sharing this story!

    • Oh gosh!

      Coenraad! I am the worst of sinners. A man so blessed to be continually loved and forgiven by an all-merciful God!

      Thank you for stopping by and always being an encourager.

      I am going to post my side of this story tomorrow. I hope you’ll check it out!

      –Steve

  • Coenraad,
    Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. I am truly blessed to have been given such an incredible friend in Steve.

    South Africa? I forget the power and reach of the internet! 🙂

    • Gigi–

      Don’t give me so much credit. I am a nobody. You would have done the same thing if the tables had been turned and I was just an onlooker.

      You teach me about grace constantly. I am the blessed one!

      –Steve

  • Coenraad,
    Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. I am truly blessed to have been given such an incredible friend in Steve.

    South Africa? I forget the power and reach of the internet! 🙂

    • Gigi–

      Don’t give me so much credit. I am a nobody. You would have done the same thing if the tables had been turned and I was just an onlooker.

      You teach me about grace constantly. I am the blessed one!

      –Steve

  • Jessica

    Amazing Steve !!!! I am encouraged by you!! I love to do things for others … I love it. I don’t want the recognition it’s just something I love and would do behind a closed door in a second if I wasn’t such a type A (is this what they eat, the right size or style or correct thing). Anyway I am a scaredy cat… People scare me maybe it’s because I work with the public. And most of the time I have my kids. I very vividly remember have a large black man approach me in downtown who was parallel parked behind Owen and I ( really long story how I ended up here… Which I am sure if I told you would laugh hysterically … Now it’s funny. Then it was not). Anyway he walked over as I was buckling Owen in and said he need to be jumped off. I was terrified ( not for any real reason other than people make me nervous). I told him I was in a big rush and couldn’t. And then I got in my car and started crying. Owen wanted to know why I was crying … My response. “mommy is a chicken”. All that man wanted was for me to jump him off and I couldn’t do it. I applaud and envy that you help others without a thought. Your story inspires … And it’s best that Gigi witnessed and told this. Thanks

    • Jessica–thanks for stopping by an for taking the time to comment!

      I appreciate you–and even if you weren’t able to help that man that day, you have a great big heart. Any time I post about being sick, etc., one of the first people to check on me is Dr. Jessica! 🙂

      You rock!

  • Jessica

    Amazing Steve !!!! I am encouraged by you!! I love to do things for others … I love it. I don’t want the recognition it’s just something I love and would do behind a closed door in a second if I wasn’t such a type A (is this what they eat, the right size or style or correct thing). Anyway I am a scaredy cat… People scare me maybe it’s because I work with the public. And most of the time I have my kids. I very vividly remember have a large black man approach me in downtown who was parallel parked behind Owen and I ( really long story how I ended up here… Which I am sure if I told you would laugh hysterically … Now it’s funny. Then it was not). Anyway he walked over as I was buckling Owen in and said he need to be jumped off. I was terrified ( not for any real reason other than people make me nervous). I told him I was in a big rush and couldn’t. And then I got in my car and started crying. Owen wanted to know why I was crying … My response. “mommy is a chicken”. All that man wanted was for me to jump him off and I couldn’t do it. I applaud and envy that you help others without a thought. Your story inspires … And it’s best that Gigi witnessed and told this. Thanks

    • Jessica–thanks for stopping by an for taking the time to comment!

      I appreciate you–and even if you weren’t able to help that man that day, you have a great big heart. Any time I post about being sick, etc., one of the first people to check on me is Dr. Jessica! 🙂

      You rock!

  • Jessica- I am a momma too and my kids are with me most of the time. I totally get the fear. Go with your gut- your heart- the spirit- whatever you wanna call it. How can Owen learn if you don’t show him? Pray about what you should do it if the situation arises and you are not sure. There is certainly no shame or judgement in protecting yourself or your son if the situation feels frightening. On the other hand, if you are led to help, even if it is out of your comfort zone, Jesus will be glorified and your son will see what it means to love others. You being honest with Owen about your fear was a wonderful way to be real. <3

  • Jessica- I am a momma too and my kids are with me most of the time. I totally get the fear. Go with your gut- your heart- the spirit- whatever you wanna call it. How can Owen learn if you don’t show him? Pray about what you should do it if the situation arises and you are not sure. There is certainly no shame or judgement in protecting yourself or your son if the situation feels frightening. On the other hand, if you are led to help, even if it is out of your comfort zone, Jesus will be glorified and your son will see what it means to love others. You being honest with Owen about your fear was a wonderful way to be real. <3

  • OH! Jessica!- I forgot to tell you that I almost didn’t ask Steve how he went home… Because, really, what kind of an idiot doesn’t know how to get home from a place she has been a half dozen times??!! But Steve knows I am terrible with directions, and I was willing to risk looking stupid about north, south, east, and west- yet again. Because I did, and because Steve’s tank was on empty, I was able to witness what happened. Isn’t God cool like that?

    Steve- shut up. I am glad you are my friend.

  • OH! Jessica!- I forgot to tell you that I almost didn’t ask Steve how he went home… Because, really, what kind of an idiot doesn’t know how to get home from a place she has been a half dozen times??!! But Steve knows I am terrible with directions, and I was willing to risk looking stupid about north, south, east, and west- yet again. Because I did, and because Steve’s tank was on empty, I was able to witness what happened. Isn’t God cool like that?

    Steve- shut up. I am glad you are my friend.

  • smile.

  • smile.

  • I absolutely loved this.

  • I absolutely loved this.