Yesterday afternoon as I was on my way to picking up our oldest from school, another parent got my attention in the parking lot:
“Hey. I was behind you as we pulled in. It looks like your rear passenger break light is about to go out cause it was cycling faster than the driver side. Just thought you should know.”
“Thanks; I’ll make sure to get that taken care of before i’m pulled over.”
Light banter was exchanged as made our way to the school lobby as we waited for our children to be called out.
Today as I was out and about running errands, I decided to stop into an Auto Parts store to get a replacement bulb for the light which was on it’s way out. I had looked up a Youtube vid earlier. Complete removal and installation in 2 minutes and some change. Piece of cake.
I purchased the bulb and came back to our Honda. I forgot that the job required a Phillip’s head screwdriver, which I did not have with me.
Most Auto Parts Store parking lots i’ve observed tend to have at least one or two Do-it-Yourselfers working on their vehicles on site. It makes sense, since you never know what part/tool you’ll need. Today was no exception, as I surveyed a pair of fellows working under the hood of a Chrysler Minivan.
“Hey man; would you loan me a Phillip’s Head screwdriver?”
“Sure; it’ll cost you $28 bucks though.”
“No problem; I’ll put a deposit on it.” I retorted.
After wiggling the break light assembly free, me and my Campus Ministry Leader inspected the bulb.
“Looks good to me.” he remarked. I concurred.
We decided to test the lamp and observe it’s functionality ourselves.
Turn signal, break light, left and right side were A-ok.
“Huh.” I pondered allowed. “I wonder what the lady behind me was looking at yesterday afternoon?”
I contemplated returning the new, un-opened bulbs to get my $6.96 back, but thought I better hold onto them incase what the other parent saw really was the case.
As I went to return the Phillip’s Head, the Good Samaritan said, “I take cash.” with a smile.
“I have something better than cash” as I fished out a business card with our church’s contact info and particulars.
“Oh ok; Church of Christ. That’s alright. Do you guys have a food pantry or anything like that?”
“Not yet.” I replied. “We’re a small fellowship now, but hopefully we grow to that point where we can offer food to the community.”
We continued talking. Apparently this kind stranger has been living out of his van for the past 8 months. He’s been trying to get on his feet, but his A/C pulley assembly has seized up, so he and his buddy Dave under the hood were attempting a work around.
“Have you eaten yet today?” I asked.
“Oh yeah; I have. I’m good.”
“I haven’t.” said Dave from under the van.
I reached into my wallet and took out the little cash I had on me and handed it to him.
“It’s not much, but hopefully you can get yourself a burger or something.”
“Thanks man; I really appreciate that“. As Dave beamed. “Can I get one of those cards too?” He asked.
“Sure.” I wrote my number on Dave’s and the Good Samaritan’s cards.
We talked for a few more moments and then we made our leave. Before going, the Good Samaritan gave me a firm handshake and thanked me again for my kindness. I smiled and returned to my van.
As I sat there with our Campus Ministry Leader, I said:
“Now I know why that parent told me about my break light going it bad; it was so we could come here today and meet those two men. Nothing is by accident or coincidence”.
We drove off.