Saved by a stranger

Yesterday I was driving from Portland to Snohomish to spend the rest of the week with Mark and my parents.  I was driving along, chatting away when a sketchy looking guy in an even more sketchy looking truck motioned for me to pull over.

I’m not sure what your MO is for this situation, but mine definitely does not involve pulling over to meet some random guy, so I shook my head.  Then he pointed to my tire and said “PULL OVER” so I decided it was worth it (and he kept driving, clearly he wasn’t hitting on me).

By the time I got to the gas station, smoke was pouring out of the hood of my truck.  I was terrified.  I know next to nothing about vehicles [I say next to nothing because I know enough to be sure that I can’t fix it, which is an important thing realize] and I was 50 miles from home and still about 150 miles from my parent’s house.

I’m on the phone with Mark, trying not to get hysterical when suddenly a gentleman walks up and asked me if I would like him to take a look at the truck.

“Ummm…yes!  Please!”

Turns out that the dealership that was checking the truck out the day before hadn’t put the hose back into the radiator, so the smoke was really antifreeze in the form of steam.  I never would have figured that out by myself and I was so happy to know what the problem was.  At least I would now be able to call our roadside assistance with some kind of information.

But our roadside angel did one better.  He disappeared for a few minutes and came back with two gallons of antifreeze.  He used those and two more gallons of water.  Then he filled the gallon jugs with water just in case the engine got hot again.  He spent about 45 minutes getting my vehicle ready to go and refused to take any cash for his time and help.  He wouldn’t even let me pay him back for the antifreeze.  Since he was also on his way to Seattle he told me that if I needed to pull over to stay on the side of the road and he’d look for me.

I was humbled and thankful.  I have often been on the receiving end of kindness, but this was to the extreme.  Mechanical issues bring out a helplessness in me that I can’t explain, especially when my kids are with me and having someone there that took charge and stayed calm was a priceless gift.

Roadside angel, I doubt I’ll ever see you again but in case you ever stumble across this blog, please accept my sincerest thanks.  We will most certainly pay it forward.  May God bless you richly for your kind deed!


About mjstearns

We are Mark, Jenni, Tate and Theo Stearns. We currently live in Beaverton, Oregon, but are planning to move to Nicaragua within the next six months. We'll be serving as missionaries to Verbo Church, a non denominational church with several Nicaraguan locations. Specifically we'll be working at Casa Bernabe, an orphanage run by the church, assisting in vocational training and transition programs for the older boys.
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