So there I was, standing next to my locked car. Staring at the keys laughing at me from the driver’s seat. I had pulled into the bank parking lot, had apparently put my keys in my lap while I signed the check I was going to cash, got out, and locked the door behind me. Keys inside. You been there? You feel my pain, then.
So, I figure, “Well, I’m here to cash a check. I’m gonna cash a check.” So I went inside and after the transaction was made, I sheepishly asked the bank teller if I could use her phone. The 1/2 second look she gave back was enough to say that she wasn’t really into me using her phone. Oh, didn’t I mention? I locked my phone in the car, too. “I’ll be right back”, I figured. “Who’s gonna call me in such a short period of time?”
So, the teller dials the first number I give her–the number of my friend Adam’s desk at work. No answer. “Can you dial another number?” I ask. I give her the number of Scott’s desk. Nope, not there. I try Robin’s desk. Nada. How about Christy’s desk? Nothing. WHAT THE HECK? WHAT, DID I MISS THE RAPTURE OR SOMETHING? WHERE IS EVERYONE??? “O.K., just one more number–this is the last one, I promise.” No answer.
So, out of options, (and apparently out of friends) I walk outside to my car, totally unsure of exactly what I’m going to do there. I’ve just exhausted my phone-a-friend lifeline and I’ve got no clue what to do next. So, I figure to myself, “Self, this bank building is pretty new. Maybe if you look in the bushes over there, you might find a stray piece of wire or metal that you could use to unlock the door to your car. Good thinking, self.” So, call me crazy, but I actually went digging through the bushes looking for a piece of wire to use. Well, you know those tiny little flags they stick in the ground to mark important power lines or gas lines, or really important stuff like that? Yep, they’re not marking those gas lines too well anymore.
So, I take my tiny little metal wire flag and make a hook shape on the end and spend the next 20 minutes watching the lock on my door wiggle around and NOT unlock. Actually, I think it was more of a dance than a wiggle–a dance that cried out, “You moron! You locked your keys in the car!”
Well, 20 or so minutes of dancing with my door lock, a lady walks out of a bank. Apparently she was just down the counter from me when she heard me tell the teller that I was locked out of my car. She watched as I had made phone call after phone call to people who weren’t there. She had been watching me digging through the bushes like some psycho bushman. And she had watched me dance with my car door lock. She said, “Still haven’t gotten it unlocked?” Thankful for someone, ANYONE to notice my plight, I replied nicely, “Nope. Not yet.”
She came around the car and stood next to me watching with me as the door lock giggled with each pass of my gas pipeline marker flag. A second later she asked, “Where do you live?” I responded, “Oh about 5 minutes from here.” (Really thinking nothing of her question.) “Would you like me to give you a ride?”, she asked. In shock, I said, “You would do that?” She said, “Sure! I’ll give you a ride.” I said, “What kind of angel are you, that you would come over here and offer a total stranger a ride to a place you don’t know?” Her words were unforgettable: “Oh, I’d want someone to do that for me.” And there it was: The Golden Rule, come to life.
So, I yanked the gas pipeline marker from its failed mission and began to walk with her toward her car. And then I raised up my head and saw the car–the HUMMER glistening in the sun that she was driving. I couldn’t help myself. I had to say something: “Oh, are you kidding me? Not only do I get a ride home, but I get a ride home in a Hummer!?! This is unreal!”
Isn’t that just like Jesus? He’s watching me right now. He’s watching my thoughts, and my words, and my actions. He’s watching me fumble through my day, trying not to lose track of my keys, myself or where He is in my life. And after watching for a while, He quietly walks up next to me and says, “Need some help?”
You see, grace is getting what you don’t deserve. I suppose that on some level, I deserve to be still standing there next to my locked 92 Crown Victoria with over 250,000 miles on it. Instead, grace showed up that day in that parking lot and gave me what I didn’t deserve. A ride home in a Hummer. That lady’s name is Lorna. And I’ll never forget that day.