After a brief wait, another vehicle pulled up to a pump. A lady got out and was about to go into the store to pay for her gas. I asked her if she would mind if I paid for the gas. I gave her the invitation to the “Down, But Not Done” series. I mentioned that God had blessed me so I wanted to be a blessing to someone else, and she was that person. There was great disbelief on her face. The disbelief grew to shock when I started pumping the gas. She said, “You are going to pay for the gas, and pump it too?! At this point she started looking around like she wanted to make sure she wasn’t on a hidden camera game show. As I finished pumping the gas, she asked where on Marsalis the church is located. I told her and asked her what her name was in case she visits the church. As we were about to go our separate ways she said, “Wow! You are just out here paying for people’s gas. They don’t make them like you anymore.”
There are several lessons that I took away from that encounter.
- People are so used to others asking them for something, that they don’t know how to respond when someone wants to give them something.
- One of the barriers that we must overcome in serving our community is the language barrier. The first person that I approached didn’t understand me. Sure, my inability to speak her language caused her to miss out on free gas. But it may have also prevented her from being exposed to the gospel.
- Don’t be discouraged if you are rejected. Not everyone will hear the message. Some people will misinterpret your intentions. If they do, just seek to be a blessing to someone else.
- There are plenty of opportunities for Christians to show others the love of Christ. The lady’s final word to me were convicting to me. Contrary to the lady’s statement, there are plenty of people like me. Christians who have to be challenged and encouraged to awaken to the need for the church to be a light in the world. Christians who can grow in seeing people how God sees them.
- Small acts make a huge impact. The gas won’t last long, but the impression will. There are plenty of people who have done far more for others than what I did for this lady. However, every time she returns to pump 3 at 7-Eleven, she will remember that day a random man paid for her gas.