There are some moments that change your game, your view, your life. They start out normally, but well, they never quite end that way, do they? This is one of mine.
Yesterday afternoon, I decided to go to the grocery store to get a few things: some spinach to juice, some more brussels sprouts, and some fresh lettuce (no, really…this is how boring I am).
I got in and out of the store pretty quickly and got into my car. I noticed my tire pressure light was on but just figured I was a little low. As I backed out, I heard the all-too-familiar “kerthunk kerthunk kerthunk” of a flat tire. I maneuvered my car over to the side of the parking lot and got out to look at it. I might have uttered a few choice words when I saw the front tire on my driver’s side completely flat.
As I was walking around to my passenger’s side to get my roadside assistance card out of my glove box, when I heard a man say, “It’s too hot to wait for them. I’d love to change your tire.”
I turned around. The man was clearly homeless, but he was smiling and approached me without a trace of aggression.
I considered my options. I’ll be honest. There was fear. Part of me wanted to say no, to protect myself and sit alone in my car and wait because who knew what could happen? But it was the afternoon, broad daylight, with people coming in and out of the parking lot. What could go on, really? What would happen if I declined? I couldn’t really drive away.
When the man earnestly asked again, I agreed.
“I don’t have any cash,” I said sheepishly.
“I don’t mind!” he said, again.
I asked him if I could get him anything, and he refused again and again, finally admitting that he would love a bag of plain Lay’s potato chips and a Diet Pepsi.
Together, we unloaded the curriculum and crap from the back of my car. I went to lift a particularly heavy box, when he stopped me, insisting that I let him do it.
While he worked, I ran into the store. I grabbed several bags of chips and as many cold Diet Pepsi’s as I could hold.
When I brought them outside, he was already done and had loaded everything back into my car. He explained that he used to work at a garage and that my alignment was off and it had basically eaten away my tire.
I thanked him profusely for making my Sunday so much easier.
As I drove away, I saw him open one of the Diet Pepsis and smile.
I was smiling too, but it was through tears.
I don’t have anything profound to say, other than it’s things like this that renew my faith in people, over and over again. And for that, I am grateful.
Read about other things that changed my life here.