It was 1:30 p.m. on a Tuesday afternoon and there was no reason for the Skukyll expressway to be at a standstill, except that it is always like this 24 hours a day. I was on my way to an appointment and I had plenty of time to get to Center City. I called ahead and was told that they would wait 20 minutes extra for me, but that was it. With very little time to think about anything, but getting there on time, I parked illegally at 30th st., put my flashers on and started running to 36th st. I did not remember that it was a long uphill run!
I got to my appointment with one minute to spare. Of course, the entire time I was in the meeting, I continued to picture my car towed, ticketed, or just plain stolen. I knew that I parked in a spot that was illegal, but I was running late AND stuck in traffic. Am I the only one who has things like this happen???!!
After my appointment, I actually walked back to my car in a luxurious way, since by that point, it didn't matter. As I approached the street where I left my car, I could not believe that it was there!! On top of that, there was no ticket. While it was slightly suspicious that I couldn't unlock the door, I realized that I left my flashers on. The battery did not turn over and I was stuck there at 30th street.
As I looked around, I decided to ask a taxi driver if he had cables. I know it was a long shot, but I was in that kind of mood. He jumped out of his car and pulled cables out, took off a sticker, undid the twisty and
said, "I just bought these this morning. I didn't know why I bought them, but I thought that someone may need them. I must have bought them for you."
If I said that I was surprised, that would be an understatement. How does a random man buy jumper cables for someone who"may need them" and then later use them to help me? He put the cables on and my car started right up. When he finished, I tried to offer him a tip, but he would not accept the tip. What he said to me was remarkable.
He said, "You cannot tip me. I do this to see a smile from someone.
If you give a nice thing to someone, something nice comes to you. You must do something for the smile and it will come back to you." I assured him that I did things for "the smile" and then he told me that
this was the reason that he bought the cables and that life would be good to me as long as I did things for others.
In the end, he introduced himself as "Mo" and told me that in Lebanon many people are called "Mo." I gave him my name and
we went our separate ways. He had surprised me on an ordinary
Perhaps the question is always "to jump or not to jump." We take our
risks in calculated ways and just when we think that everything is predictable and people are really not worth trusting, someone surprises us and God feels strangely close. It is not something that you talk about, but there is this God-like quality when people think about
something "greater than themselves."
May you, too, have a surprise, when you decide to jump or not to jump. Blessings.