Tuesday, October 16, 2007

DVDs (and gas) to man who ran out of gas. Tue, Oct 16, 2007.

10/16/2007. 902. I went to drop a letter in a mail box near my apartments and a man in a truck near the mailbox asked for help buying gas. He had a story I hadn't heard before. I'm not saying I believed him or disbelieved him. It may be true or not. He said he took his wife to the hospital that's up the road a ways, and he didn't have time to get dressed or take his wallet. He was in his bath-robe and slippers. I didn't ask for the details, but he said he wasn't entirely out of gas, he just didn't have enough to get back home.

I thought I'd take a chance just in case he wasn't conning me. There was a gas station about 100 feet away, so I said I'd buy him some gas. I don't like to just give people money. I told him to pull up to a pump and I'd pay for some gas. He did, and I went in and paid for $8 worth of gas.

I went back out and told him I hadn't heard that story before, and it didn't matter if it was true or not, but to just "pay it forward" to someone else who needs help.

As I was going back to my car, if finally dawned on me that it was also an opportunity to give him something from the church, so I got out a couple of DVDs from the car. I forget exactly which two, but one of them was probably "Together Forever." I went back and presented them, and he accepted them.

I've often spent $8 or more on eating out, just for the opportunity to give out some church material at a restaurant. So looking back, I can justify it that way.

As I write this, I'm realizing that in the big picture it doesn't matter if such requests are legitimate, because the encounter is actually an opportunity for something more important. I'm going to try to stop worrying if it's a con or not.

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