Thursday, September 25, 2008

$15 and gatorade

I picked up Rayne from soccer practice and noticed I was on "E" and my gas light was on. There was one problem, I didn't have any cash and I had no money in my account to use my debit card. Pay day is tomorrow and I was tapped out. My sister Jill and her husband have graciously given me a BP gas card so that I can fill my tank up once a month and they would pay the bill for me. There was another problem, I filled my car up the week before using the gas card. I had no choice, I decided to use the gas card again and explain to Jill and Steve later. Rayne and I drove to the nearest BP station which is a few miles out of our way but we had no choice. When we pulled up we had to wait 10 minutes for the car in front of us to move, we soon realized the pressure in the pumps were not working right and it would take forever to fill our car up, but again we had no choice. While we waited for our tank to fill up we noticed a man and his daughter walking around talking to each customer. At one point the man pointed to what I assume was his family standing outside the Dunkin Donuts. There was a woman with two small children and a stroller with a baby in it. Rayne and I at first locked our doors as we thought to ourselves, "What is this crazy man doing talking to all these people." Then I got that feeling, the feeling of the Holy Spirit telling me I cannot ignore this family. I rolled down my window giving the man the opportunity to approach me. He did and asked for money to buy groceries for his family. I told him I only had a dollar, he accepted. I then began a conversation with him, I told him I was a social worker and was trying to figure out how to help him. He went to the police station at 4:30pm but apparently they could not help him with finding a shelter until 9am the next morning, he said he and his family had to survive the night. I made sure he had a plan for tomorrow, he did. I told him I wish I could do more. He thanked me for caring. I told him I would pray for him and "God Bless You". Because the pumps were so slow, after he left my car, it was still several minutes until my tank was full. I began searching the car for change and money. I found a plastic baggie with change in it and started to fill it. I said to Rayne, "I wish we had more money." She then looked in her bag and pulled out $15.00 and said she wanted to give it to them. Rayne also emptied her bag of all the loose change into the plastic baggie. I glanced back and noticed there was a case of Gatorade in the back seat that we never unloaded from the weekend. I quickly got out and put 5 Gatorade in a Shop Rite bag. After our tank was full we pulled up along side the family and Rayne told me she wanted to give them what we had. She rolled down her window and said, "We have something for you." The man came over and I told him Rayne found $15.00 and change and that we had Gatorade for them. He looked stunned and almost like he didn't want to take it. He said, "I feel guilty for taking this", to which I replied, "Don't be". I heard the kids say, "Gatorade!" with delight. Rayne and I pulled off.

My heart goes out to this family. As it is raining and windy outside I wonder if they obtained enough money to rent a room for the night. The face of the man and his daughter are burned into my mind. That could be me, it could be any of us. God is confirming my mission and passion everyday. It is amazing. Today He let my bank account run so low that I had to go to a gas station I would have never gone to if I had money. He allowed the gas pumps to run extremely slow so I would have to be at that location for 20 minutes instead of 5 minutes. God provided $15.00 plus change from my daughter who would rather spend it at the mall, and he allowed the Gatorade to remain in the car from the weekend. God is soooo good!

Matthew 25:31-46

31"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

41"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'

44"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'

45"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'

46"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."


The Aspenberg Family said...

Amy All i can say is WoW!!!! I praise Jesus for the heart of you and Rayne!! God was looking down and smiling when u guys did that for the family!!! I'll be praying for that family as well!!!

W said...

WOW--what an amazing feeling reading your blog and even more so for you and the Rayne and the family you helped. You are right God made that all happen and thats what its all about you listened and showed grace with your warm and caring hearts. Its the little things that mean the most!!PRAISE GOD!!!!

Lyndsay said...

What a great story. Sad, though... Incredibly sad.... What I would give to have the money to pull all the families just like his off the streets.... Well, you touched that family's life for sure. What a true testament of God working in us so He can reveal himself to those who most need it. Thanks for sharing!
(Tell Rayne I said hi! I miss seeing her in Sunday School since I stopped teaching.)

Julie said...

That family's suffering gifted your family the grace to sacrifice. I LOVED READING THIS EXPERIENCE!!!!!

Anonymous said...

WOW. What an amazing story.