In my summer of adventuring, I had a doozy on Saturday. I had to replace a big part on a tractor and set out early to get it done. By 10am it was already hotter than hades and I realized I could not budge the bolts I needed to remove to make the swap. So I headed for Tractor Supply to get some help. It’s really quite freeing to ask for help by the way. After about five hours the new part was in place and all was well. I was covered from head to toe in sweat, grease and grime. It was great.
But something remarkable happened in the parking lot at Tractor Supply.
When I pulled in, an older man was standing in front of my truck talking to a girl a few spaces down who had her car door open smoking a cigarette. It was a tight spot to pull in but the place was full. We waived me into my spot. I got out of the truck and went around behind the truck and realized he’d walked to my driver’s side and he was still talking to me. As I came back around the other side he approached me, all smiles and just a chattering away. As it turns out, he thought I looked just like his “boss man”, a local attorney (who I know). He apologized and just a kept on talking about that he’d worked for him for 38 years doing pretty much anything he needed on his farm, running a bush hog, tending to cattle, etc. He said he sure was a nice man. I agreed.
I wished him a good day and went in the store. About 20 minutes later I came walking back out and found two five dollar bills laying on the curb. I picked them up and turned around to go in the store and realized there were about 50 people in there and it would be nearly impossible to identify the rightful owner of that cash. So I put it in my pocket and headed back to my truck. As I walked by a small truck to get in mine, I heard a honk and that gentleman had seen me, reached over and honked. As I sat down I looked over and he was inside the cab of the truck just waiving and waiving at me. I pulled out, rolled down my window and waived back.
I pulled around the store and was heading out and just as sure as I’m typing this, I heard, “Go back and give him that money. You don’t need it. He does.” I whipped around and pulled back to my spot. By this point, he was out of the truck helping his boss for the day load up dog food and other assorted items. I edged up next to him and nudged him and he turned and just started smiling that same big ole smile. “Here. I found this on the parking lot. Someone dropped it and I had no way to identify the rightful owner. I want you to have it. Go and buy yourself a nice lunch today.”
His smile got even bigger and he started laughing a joyful laugh. “Aw man, I don’t know what to say. God bless you. God bless you. I just don’t know what to say. I love you.” I laughed with him and told him God had told me to give him that money and that it paid to be kind to people. He had been kind to me earlier and God wanted to thank him. He said, “Oh yes sir, it sure does pay to be kind to folks. Thank you again.” Matthew 25:40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
I drove away thinking, “Jesus just told me He loves me”.
OK so maybe I should have been more aggressive in finding the rightful owner of that $10. To whoever it was, take heart, your misfortune blessed someone else. I don’t know what was the right thing to do in that moment but I know this, I heard God and followed His nudge and through it all, I am convinced of this, I heard Jesus tell me in a very hot Tractor Supply parking lot, “I love you.”
Excurvatus Ex Se – A life lived outward.