After leaving church one Sunday morning, I was headed to visit my friend in the nursing home. On my way, I drove down a busy road that had two lanes on each side of a center turning lane. When I drove around a bend in the road, I noticed something strange in front of me. As I got closer, I had to suddenly stop in the busy traffic behind a car that was parked in the middle of the lane farthest to the right. I knew something was definitely wrong when I saw a man standing by his wheel on the sidewalk, next to the entrance of a business parking lot.
I drove around him but as I drove down the road, I thought about how something could go wrong. Wrong for the man, as if he hadn’t had a bad enough day as it was. Wrong for others who may not drive as carefully as they should. I will admit I do not always stop when I see someone in trouble. After all, crazy things can happen. But as a man, I do not worry quite as much. Plus, it was noon on a bright sunny day. I felt pressed to turn back around, the way I normally do when I feel God is asking me to do something. At first I drove back and turned into one of the next parking lots. I then approached the man on foot to find out what happened and see if there was a way I could help.
He told me his tire came off as he was just about to pull into the parking lot to check on it. Someone saw it rolling down the street and brought it back to him. I agreed with him that the lug nuts were not torqued properly. I went around the front side and noticed the hub, where the wheel is placed, dug into the surface of the road, which created a small trench in the shape of an arc on the street below. It went up the entrance and stopped underneath the wheel hub which now laid in direct contact with the concrete beneath it. It was a low rider car with huge rims, which left little space around the other wheels. In addition to that, the frame where the jack was to be placed was close to three inches from the ground.
I returned to my car but watched as the cars whizzed by nearly crashing into him, totally unaware of the dangerous situation that was around the bend in the road. So I pulled my car into the same lane but at a distance away from him but clearly in the line of sight where people could see my car from a long ways off. I watched, at times squinting my face, praying to God that they would not crash into my car because they were not paying attention. I jumped out quick and offered to use my jack. But it didn’t work so I put it back. A woman in a separate car was on the phone, trying to get help from the insurance company. The man and I spoke while we waited on assistance. At times I returned close to my car in an effort to signal to people to switch lanes. Again, some were barely paying attention and nearly crashed into my car. But thankfully they did not! A police officer passed by in the opposite lane and then flicked their lights on and pulled up behind my car. I was standing close by so I explained what happened. The man joined in on the conversation and explained what happened to the officer. She informed me she would stay until help arrived. It felt so much better having a police car with flashing lights blocking the lane of traffic. She thanked me for trying to help out, to which I was happy to do so. I turned to the man and went to shake his hand, as I do with most men I interact with. He reached out and grabbed my hand, kind of side ways.
“I hope things work out for you man, good luck,” I said.
“Love you man,” he responded.
Of all the responses I could have ever conceived, that was not one of them. We may have looked different, talked different, acted different… you name it. But on that day, it felt like we were brothers.