My wife and I retired two years ago as an over-the-road truck-driving team.
During five years as "expediting truckers," I would write travel logs of our experiences on the road and send them to family and friends. Here is a favorite and a true story.
Speedco is a franchise business that does oil changes for large trucks and RVs. I had recently finished reading C.S. Lewis' "Mere Christianity," which must have stirred something inside of me. We were at a Georgia Speedco to get an oil change, and I was in the office waiting for the clerk to settle up my bill.
It took a while for the clerk to appear, and I waited by myself for too long. She was a young women and she apologized for her absence. As she was working on my bill, she shared her reason for the delay. It seems she was on the phone with her new landlord, as she was in the process of moving. In a matter-of-fact way, she said she had just relocated there and the new landlord needed a $300 cash deposit before she could move in. Her payday wasn't for another four days, and she didn't have it. She was upset that she was going to have to spend the next three nights sleeping in her car or try and get a payday loan, which she couldn't afford either.
She was sharing in a straight-up way and not playing the victim or needing someone else’s help. When a tear rolled down her cheek, I said, “I'm sure something will happen soon to help you along with this."
She responded, "Well, I'm going to need a sign from the burning bush."
With that comment, I turned my back to the counter and looked into my wallet. I noticed several strips of brightly colored green silly paper that had numbers on them. I added the numbers and they totaled 99. The thought came to me, “A seed of kindness begets more kindness," I emptied my wallet of the paper strips and palmed them as I turned back to the counter. After I signed my invoice, I slipped the silly paper notes under the invoice and moved it back to her.
"Here is a donation from the burning bush," I said.
She smiled, I smiled and I turned and walked out the door.
Gary Shade lives in Jacksonville.