Boomerang - A Tire Change You Will NEVER Forget!!!

Old woman in a car

She looked to be in her mid 80’s, but through the rain, Bryan could barely see the old lady stranded on the side of the road. Even in the dim light of the evening, he could see she needed help. As his broken down truck sputtered to a stop, he pulled up in front of her white Mercedes and got out. It was obvious to him that she had money, and a lot of it. This was no ordinary car; this was a six figure car.

Even with the smile on his face, she was worried. No one had stopped to help for the last hour or so. Twenty cars had passed her without stopping. Was he going to hurt her? He didn’t look safe. He looked poor but rugged. He could see that she was frightened, seeing him standing out there in the cold. He knew how she felt. It was that chill, only fear can put in you.

City street on a rainy evening

Bryan said, “I'm here to help you ma'am. Why don't you wait in the car where it's warm. By the way, my name is Bryan Collins.” All she had was a flat tire, but for an old lady that was bad enough. He popped the trunk, then crawled under the car looking for a place to put the jack, scraping his knuckles a time or two. He was finally able to change the tire but got very dirty, and his hands were bleeding as he finished.

As he was tightening the lug nuts, she rolled down the window and began to talk to him. “My name is Nanette and I'm from St. Louis. I was only passing through until this happened.” “Well then, I guess It's your lucky day. I should have you out of here shortly.” Bryan said. Peering over the slightly rolled down window, the old lady asked, “You're a Christian aren't you?” Proudly, Bryan replied, “Yes I am”. “Yeah I could tell” the lady said, nodding her head. “Why do you say that?” Bryan asked, noticing her expensive watch. “It's just something a Christian would do... pulling over for me on a less than ideal night.” “Are you a Christian ma'am?” “I am”, Nanette said with a grin. “Tell me Bryan, do you like playing the piano?” Bryan jumped back, his heart pounding. ”How could you possibly know I play the piano?” “Well, you've been twirling that piano key-chain around your finger for the last minute, your license plate says “IVORY” and you have piano keys tattooed on your arm. Those things kinda gave you away.” “Oh...ahh, yeah I guess they do huh. I'm a musician...I mean, well...I teach piano. I give piano lessons.” Curiously, the lady asked, “Do you like it?” “I love it!” Bryan said. “It's been hard for the last six months though. People are moving out of the city, and with inflation, it's been pretty tough. I'm only giving two lessons a week right now.” “Well hang in there Bryan, God can show up when you least expect it. If you're as good at playing the piano as you are at fixing flat tires, you'll be just fine.”

She couldn't thank him enough for coming to her aid. “How much do I owe you Bryan?, name your price.” Bryan just smiled as he closed her trunk. “Nah...nothing...I was happy to do it.” Any amount would have been okay with her. She had no knowledge of cars, except how to put the key in and drive them. “Seriously, I would still be stranded had you not stopped, so how much?”

She already imagined all the awful things that could have happened had he not stopped. Bryan never thought twice about being paid. This was not a job to him. This was him helping someone in need, and God knows there were plenty who had given him a hand in the past. He had lived his whole life that way, and it never occurred to him to act any other way. He told her that if she really wanted to pay him, the next time she saw someone who needed help, she could give that person the assistance they needed, and Bryan added, “And think of me.” He waited until she started her car and drove off. It had been a cold and depressing day, but he felt good as he headed for home, his truck disappearing into the twilight. He said a prayer as he drove, “I really hope she can help someone someday Lord, she was so nice.”

A few miles down the road the lady saw a small diner. She went in to grab a bite to eat and take the chill off before she made the last leg of her trip home. It was a dingy looking restaurant with broken neon lights in the windows and fake wood siding that hadn't been painted in years. The whole scene was unfamiliar to her. As she went inside and set her purse and scarf down on one of the tables. The waitress came over and brought a clean towel to dry her hair and face from the rain. “Here you go, my name is Samantha and I'll be serving you tonight.” “Thank you for the towel, that's very kind of you” Nanette said to the waitress. The waitress had a sweet smile, along with shoes that looked to be years old. Even though she had probably been on her feet all day, it couldn't erase her smile. As the lady was waiting for a menu, she overheard the waitress asking her boss about any available overtime, and also noticed that she was nearly eight months pregnant, but she never let the strain and aches change her attitude. Nanette wondered how someone who had so little, could be so giving to a stranger. Then she remembered Bryan.

After the lady finished her meal, she paid with a one hundred dollar bill. The waitress quickly went to get change for her, but the old lady had slipped out the door. She was gone by the time the waitress came back. The waitress wondered where the lady could have gone. Then she noticed something written on the napkin. There were tears in her eyes when she read what the lady wrote:

Napkin with note to keep all as a tip

Keep the change – I have been there too. Somebody once helped me out, the way I'm helping you. Don't let this chain of love end with you.

With tears still flowing she began to clear the table. The forks and spoons, then the plates and glasses. She laughed as she saw that the old lady had forgotten her scarf, but her smile quickly vanished as she noticed a second napkin and a pile of $100 bills under the scarf. On the napkin was written,

Pile of money under a scarf

PS. Keep it all

Fifty more $100 bills were in that pile of money under the scarf. Paralyzed with shock, she thought to herself, ”Who does this, who carries $5000 around their purse?” She said to her co-worker, “I don't even know her!” Samantha turned and asked her boss if he saw her go into the restroom, but he saw nothing. She waited for ten minutes to see if the lady would return. She never did.

The drive home was surreal to her. “Lord, how did this just happen, why did this just happen?!!” She couldn't wait to tell her husband. When she got home and climbed into bed, she was thinking about the money and what the lady had written on the napkins. How could the lady have known exactly how much she and husband needed? No one who was wealthy ever came into that diner; not ever.

With the baby due next month, it was going to be hard if not impossible to make ends meet. She knew how worried her husband had been the past few months, but as he lay sleeping next to her, she quietly thanked the Lord, then turned to her husband, gave him a kiss and whispered softly,

“We're gonna be just fine. I love you Bryan Collins.”

When you put your trust in Jesus, some things can come right back to you.



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jtodora ⇔ Last updated: January 26, 2023