I’ve been on the road a lot lately, driving back and forth to Portland and even on up into Brush Prairie, Washington. Yesterday I was on a mission to catch a noon appointment in Portland and I was tracking to be there exactly on time. No time for distractions like that really big dude at the on-ramp looking for a ride.
I zoomed past and upshifted. Third, fourth, fifth gear, about to break free onto the open road. But my spirit was screaming, “Stop, pick him up!” I’d heard the whisper 45 seconds earlier when I first spied him. I knew I was supposed to pick him up, but that would easily add another 5 minutes to my journey and I was tracking to be there right at noon.
It was unmistakable, the impulse to stop and help, so I down-shifted instead, and pulled over. I began reversing the hundred yards or so, hugging the shoulder of the on-ramp. He started dragging his bag toward my car and then we pulled up even.
“Hey brother, I’m Lennox, what’s your name?”
“I’m James,” he said, and we set about getting him aboard. I had my stuff strewn about the passenger seat. Charger cords and phone and Bluetooth and all that stuff. I shoved and tossed things aside so we could get this passenger in his seat and resume our flight plans as quickly as possible. I now understood why God had been so insistent that I leave the guitar amp at Coast Hills before heading north–it was to make room for this massive duffel bag.
James is a big dude! 5’11” and 300 solid pounds. We’re talking about a big strong dude!! He told me stories of bench-pressing 450 pounds for 10 reps when he was 16 years old in high school. Leg-pressing 1270 pounds. The kind of stories where I can’t even leg press what he bench presses–those kinds of stories.
Such a gentle spirit. Sadly, he’s thumbing his way home because he was robbed along the journey and his bus ticket and other valuables are gone, leaving him stranded over a thousand miles from home. He had become saddened and a little discouraged and so he sat there at this on-ramp and prayed “God, send me an angel.”
20 minutes after he prayed, I raced past…
He just needed some encouragement, some company, some “you are not alone.”
How many times have I asked God “please, just send me a sign that you’re listening. Anything!”
We were pulling away from the on-ramp when I realized that in the frenzied clearing of the passenger seat, I had tossed my phone into a cup-full of liquid and it had sat immersed in there for at least 3 minutes while we loaded the duffel bag into the back.
Now here I am with minutes to spare on my way to an appointment and my GPS is dead because my phone is dead. But guess who had a nice new Samsung Galaxy Note? That’s right! James guided me to the area I needed to go. I only knew cross streets, not the actual address, so from the cross streets, I called my appointment and said “This is Lennox on a friend’s phone–I dropped my phone in a drink and it’s dead. I’m at the gas station near you, but I don’t know your actual address. If you get this in the next 5 to 10 minutes call me with your address. If not, I was in your neighborhood and I’ll see you another time. Sorry about this.”
My appointment called within a couple minutes. Met him, had a good connection, dropped James off at a better location for catching a ride, made it to Brush Prairie, and then closed the final leg back to Mac, beating the afternoon traffic. Absolutely amazing day!!!
Yeah, my phone died, but who cares? God used me today!!! This is what I call a good day!