Honking won't do any good so might as well get out and help

If anyone is good at catching red lights, it's me. Rest assured, if you are stopped at an intersection and see me coming toward the light, go ahead and get ready to go because your light will turn green in just a few moments.

This morning as I was in my regular pattern of stop and go, I approached an intersection that contained a car that was obviously experiencing some engine trouble. I could hear the driver trying to restart his car and I could see the oily smoke billowing from the car's tailpipe. As I stopped for my red light and this gentleman's light turned green, he still had not gotten his car started. It lurched suddenly into the intersection and then conked out on him again.

The cars began to line up behind him while he frantically tried to turn over the ignition so he at least he could pull out of the intersection. As I begin to strategize how I could help this guy with his car, I noticed the driver immediately behind him becoming impatient, eventually honking his horn at the helpless man as if that was going to do any good. Eventually cars began to edge around this broken down vehicle to pass him as he rolled a little further into the intersection. Watching the eyes of this man and his disabled car, I shared the pain of that sick feeling he must be experiencing with his car stalled in the middle of the intersection.

Once my light turned green I pulled through the intersection and into a parking lot, got out of my car, and jogged into the intersection to help the man push his vehicle out of the way. It took about 1 minute to do so and I was even wearing flip flops, so it wasn't all that hard. Once he got his car out of the way he was quickly able to fix the problem, get it started back up, and with a heartfelt thanks and a wave he was on his way.

Driving away from the scene, it struck me how people react to others in need. I imagined all of the possible scenarios running through peoples' minds as they observed this man struggling to get his car started:
  • I would love to get out and help but I really don't have time, I'm already running late.
  • Certainly somebody else is gonna help this guy, right?
  • If my kids weren't in the car with me I would help him (I've certainly been there before).
  • Wow, I wish somebody would come along who could help this guy with is car.
  • Who does this guy think he is blocking the intersection? Serves him right for having a junk car!
Granted, I'm not a mind reader so I can't say for certain that these were actually the thoughts of at least some of those who were in the intersection this morning, but I'll bet I'm pretty close.

Am I some super righteous dude for getting out of my car and helping this gentleman push his out of the way? No, in fact it's quite the contrary. I am simply an undeserving guy who has been saved by the grace of Jesus. Due to the fact that I have been given so much by my Lord, how in the world could I refuse to offer even just a little help to others?

And by the way, when you honk at a guy who is broken down and can't move his car it really makes you look pretty pathetic and silly. Next time, get out and help. It ain't gonna kill you.

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