Matthew 11:28-30 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Quote from my dear friend Brandee, who I call my blanket friend, she is always a comfort to me and I am not sure why......... the scripture above is her facebook status at the moment and for some reason ........it just "fit"
We were traveling along 95N coming home from a nice Easter weekend with my daughter, grandchildren and her extended military family & friends. We had been beach combing, visited a favorite restaurant, had an egg hunt, a great Easter dinner, family time, video games and an overall fun visit. I had a new book to read, (The Glass Castle) and we were headed to our favorite outlet stores on N95.
We had had a near miss with a "wide load" that was traveling south on the road not too far before this. We even dialed 911 to alert police as an accident was sure to happen if this "wide load" did not do something differently. It was 1/2 way in our lane and we literally had to run off the side of the road to avoid a head on collision. After saying a quiet prayer and thanking God for our safety I kept my eyes peeled on the road instead of the book I had been trying to read previously.
We had been to the outlet and stocked up on some goodies from the dollar bins for Faith and a few things for the Grandkids and then traveled over to JR's and got some Jeans, Shorts, shirt and more for the hubby. They racked up this trip. I didn't find anything I needed this trip except a metal grater due to the fact that my daughter had given me a few things that i would have otherwise bought at JRS for my kitchen.
There he was. He was standing on the side of the road with his wooden walking stick. He was an older man, in his 60's at least with a duffel bag standing at the exit or entrance of 95 north. His face was red, it was hot outside, maybe in the high eighties? He had his "thumb out."
I hollered......"stop" lets pick him up. My husband looked at me with quizzical eyes, "you want to pick him up?" "Yes, he is old, it is hot, pick him up." We stopped the car and he came over, hobbling and got in the car.
He started speaking immediately......... quickly.......... and said he knew there was a truck stop just up the road at exit 264, the person that let him off told him about. If we could take him there he would ask a truck driver to get him to West Va. He had a 'story' he had been to Georgia to see his daughter and his daughter went to West VA to see him. He didn't have a cell phone and his truck broke down. The towing company was going to charge him $150 and he only had $148 and couldn't get it fixed.........his daughters husband was killed in Iraq and his wife of 40 years died last year.............and there was more...........lots more.........
he had diabetes and we immediately confirmed that by seeing his mottled purple legs......... we knew exactly what that looked like from our family members that have the same condition.
We offered a bus ticket and some water and some food. For each item we offered he had a reason we could not or should not give it to him. We went to the truck stop and I went in and bought him some water and some peanuts (the big bag) and brought them out to him on the bench he had parked himself on. He said he could have gotten water in the bathroom for free (he had been doing this since wednesday, it was now sunday) and could not eat the peanuts (his teeth were broken and brittle). There was not a bus station in our path that you could actually buy a ticket, we would have to back track 3 stops and he didn't want us to do that.
We all wanted to help him, we had no cash (my husband is NEVER separated from his cash and I NEVER have any) this was odd in itself that he left his "cash" behind in his pocket in the dirty clothes. In the 8 years that I have been with him this has NEVER happened before. My husband wanted to buy him these things , but we would have to charge them. The man, whose name we never caught, said no but if we had spare change he could use some for his pocket. We told him we didn't have any cash, so he would not let us help him.
My husband found this strange.......the man would take some "spare change" but not the items we offered. My husband was suspicious of this and asked me if I was as well, I was not. The blue eyes I saw were clear, bright and sincere. He did not smell of alcohol, "skunk" or of anything else for that matter.......
I think he may have been an angel, maybe he was some kind of test......... I don't know? We have given people things, money, rides, helping hand in the past but never had someone in so much need DENY our help........... ALL OF IT except the ride.
We drove away and down the road I told my husband my thoughts. He looked at me, cocked his head and said "thats funny, that is exactly what I told the cashier inside the store, cuz ya never know." I am not sure the lesson I was supposed to learn from this adventure , if any......... but I am sure there are angels among us.