Driving on an urgent errand, I saw a car on the shoulder of the interstate. An old man was standing forlornly against the trunk, obviously appealing for help.
I couldn’t stop then, but on my return trip I could see across the traffic that he was still there. It had been 1/2 an hour since I'd first seen him, and nobody else had stopped. Perhaps his appearance caused some to "pass by on the other side," like the Levite and priest in the Good Samaritan parable. This was a black man in his seventies, with an old car, smoking a cigarette.
So I exited, got on the other direction, and stopped. The man, Earl, was immediately grateful for my assistance. He praised God, called me blessed, and said I was an angel. It turns out he had a faulty gas gauge and had run out of gas. He had a friend who could help him with the car the next day, and he would leave it so long as he could just get home, because he had dogs and a horse to feed.
I had a quick decision to make. Should I invite this man into my car? I knew that human reasoning might suggest that a young white woman offering a ride to an old black man she just met would be unwise, but that was based on fear, expectations, and false beliefs about mankind. So I asked God, and the answer was “Of course!”
I drove Earl home, about 6 miles away. By this time he was so overflowing with gratitude he asked if he could hug me. Again, I knew that I needed to ask God if this is what He wanted me to do. And again God said, “Go ahead!” I knew that Earl had no ulterior motives, he loved God, he was genuinely grateful, and that this was the best way he knew how to express it.
Everything about Earl was truly genuine. As I drove him home he could hardly stop talking about what a blessing I was and insisting that I was an angel. I shared that I am a Christian Scientist, some about what that means, and that that’s why I turned around and helped him. I offered Earl the latest volume of The Christian Science Journal
and he gratefully accepted. He gave me some contact information and said that if I was ever in that area and needed anything, to call on him and he would help me.
This experience has served as a powerful reminder to listen to God, not material human reasoning, and to be obedient. Mary Baker Eddy in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures
defines Angels as: “God’s thoughts passing to man….” (S&H 581:4) It was listening to angel messages that led me to be in the right place at the right time to see Earl, and listening to the angel messages to help him that led me, in turn, to be his angel.
Also, Jesus told us, to “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” (John 7:24) And Eddy also said, “Giving does not impoverish us in the service of our Maker, neither does withholding enrich us.” (S&H 79:31-32) And last but not least, this reminds me that Jesus’ parable about the good Samaritan is not just to illustrate who your neighbor is, but that, as Jesus told the inquiring lawyer, we should “Go, and do … likewise.” (Luke 10:25-37)