When the “check engine” light came on I thought very little of it as I know that nine times out of ten it’s an alert about scheduled maintenance. However when the vehicle began to lose power I knew things were not right.
Pulling off the freeway at the next exit I noticed that there was a Department of Transportation parking lot with a maintenance shed just off the side of the road. This looked like a safe place to pull up.
The scene seemed quite unoccupied until, after a closer look, I noticed a side door of the shed was propped open. And a split second later a very large man came barreling out the door. Though quite a distance away, everything about his posture and movement suggested he was not happy to see me in his employer’s parking lot.
Instinct took over and I shouted, “Sorry to park in your lot, but our van just broke down.” In stone cold silence the large fellow was becoming increasingly larger with every foot step towards me. Time for round two, “How ya doin’? Apologize for pulling into your lot.” And before I could finish my explanation, he interrupted in the most pleasant tone, “Looks like you’re having a little trouble. Well, here’s the thing, I’m not supposed to help folks. Something about liability. But I’m getting fired in a couple weeks because I don’t want to get the shot, so I’m happy to help you out.”
For the next 45 minutes amidst a sea of oil, parts and tools, the virus, the vaccine and his political views about them were not mentioned. Instead, this gentleman told stories about learning how to fix things at an early age, his deep love for family and friends, an appreciation for the land and farm animals, and a heartfelt passion to help out others.
Driving away in our repaired rig, having been rebuffed for attempting to pay this Good Samaritan, I found myself reflecting on his genuine kindness. I was grateful for his assistance but even more so that our encounter was simply about one person helping out another person in need. It truly was a Good Samaritan moment – human compassion revealed the holy between two strangers.