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  • Writer's pictureH. Rick Goff

A Hug



I was just getting on the road to run a few mindless errands on a hot Texas morning when I saw an older lady standing next to a vehicle that had stopped on the other side of the parkway. I was listening to the depressing news of the day as I was driving; the war in Ukraine, another mass shooting, crazy politics, you know-- the usual!! I was going the other way and I would have to turn around, so I had no intention of stopping because I was in my own world. But just as that thought was settling in my mind, I was in a turn lane heading back in her direction. The "be kind" and "do the right thing" part of my brain and heart took over and made my next actions intentional. To make matters worse, the vehicle was stopped in the middle of a curve that I often did my best Lewis Hamilton (F1 Driver) impression while leaning into the curve in my Ford Explorer!! As I approached the stalled vehicle I was not under any false illusion that I could do anything to help get the car started--- my knowledge of vehicles ends at pumping gas and pressing the brakes before I push the start button. But my mere presence seemed to give the lady a little peace, and calmed her down a bit after she had a frustrating call with a AAA representative who told her it would be over an hour before someone could come and assist her. Not that any day is a good day for your car to break down, but it was 1000 degrees (ok 90 before noon) and that only made the situation worse.


After I arrived, she began to explain what happened and said the engine apparently shut off while she was driving (scary thought). But all I really heard was Charlie Browns teachers' voice, and I knew all I could do was try to push the car to a safer area to avoid a possible collision. The weirdest thing was the car would not go into gear and we could not push it out of the danger zone. I was relieved when a young police officer arrived to help, but even he quickly realized that the car could not be pushed. After a few minutes he went to sit inside his cruiser where I assumed he was coordinating with dispatch on the next course of action. But when he returned, he said we went on YouTube to figure out how to get the car back in gear and knew exactly what to do. He found a panel in some obscure place in the vehicle and once he opened it, the car gear released and we safely got the car off the street. The young Officer and I shared a laugh as he told me YouTube is often his first stop when he needs to figure out how something works. He thanked me for stopping to try and assist and I said I wished I had thought to go to YouTube first!


The lady was beside herself with gratitude and thanked me for stopping. She had her 5 year old grandson with her and he was the coolest and cutest little kid ever. He quietly sat on the sidewalk and watched as we tried to figure everything out and I eventually asked him if he wanted to sit in the AC in my car while we waited for his Mom to show up. He looked at his grandmother, then back at me, and quickly shook his head up and down as he was feeling the heat also! I waited the lady for a little while and we talked about how unfortunate the situation was on one the hottest days of the year. Her daughter eventually arrived and I sensed all was well and I attempted to leave. But when I reached out to shake her hand, she looked at me and said "Nope, we're not shaking hands today, I want a hug!"


Can't tell you how wonderful that sweaty hug felt as we embraced. It made me think how wonderful it is to help someone else in their time of need. There are ample opportunities to be kind and show kindness in our daily rhythm of life and sometimes we can drive by thinking there is nothing we can do, or someone else will show up and help out, or be so engrossed in our own world that we miss it. Or, we can be intentional, get out of our heads and let the "be kind" and "do the right thing" gene turn us around, and allow us up to show up and be there for someone else. I remember thinking as I drove off and headed home, I forgot what my errands were for the day. I also realized at this point how little it mattered, the Sam's samples were not as good as what I got to do and experience. I am still amazed every time God uses the simplest of gestures and situations to show his grace and kindness to us and all we have to do is pay attention. A random act of kindness made a bad situation a little less stressful for someone else and I got the best reward ever, a heartfelt hug!

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crussell82
crussell82
Aug 01, 2023

Rick: Amen Brother! Thanks for the God moment. The lady, grandson and daughter will tell others the day that God sent an Angel to help them during their moment of need. Thank you for sharing how you overcame your comfort moment to help others in their discomfort moment. God is good through you. Che

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