God presents himself in the most random of times and Nicole Heintz learned that firsthand when she stopped to get gas on a particularly chilly winter morning. Nicole shared what happened next on the Love What Matters Facebook page.
“SO I WAS JUST ON MY WAY TO WORK AND I HAD TO STOP FOR GAS SO I ALLOWED MYSELF SOME EXTRA TIME TO GET TO WORK. WHEN I PULLED UP TO THE PUMP I SHUT MY CAR OFF AND SAW THIS MIDDLE AGED MAN CRYING LOOKING AT THE GAS PUMP. I BEGAN TO WONDER WHAT HAPPENED WITH THIS MAN AND AS I GOT OUT OF MY CAR AND LOOKED AT HIM MY HEART FELT LIKE IT STOPPED.
IN APPLE VALLEY, MINNESOTA IT IS 10 DEGREES AND FREEZING COLD WITH THE WIND. THIS MAN WAS WEARING FLIP FLOPS WITH SOCKS COVERED IN HOLES. I LOOK AT HIS CAR AND SEE HIS WIFE IN THE FRONT SEAT COVERING HER FACE IN HER HANDS AND THE TWO TEENAGE GIRLS BOTH CUDDLING UNDER A BLANKET IN THE BACK SEAT.”
Something told Nicole that this family needed help. She knew that she couldn’t just ignore their desperate situation!
It Wasn’t Much But It Meant Something Big
She didn’t want to pry, but Nicole felt compelled to intervene after seeing everyone in the family in such an unhappy state.
“I WENT UP TO THE MAN AND SAID ‘SIR IS SOMETHING THE MATTER?’ HE LOOKED AT ME AND I COULD TELL HE WAS ON THE VERGE OF GIVING UP BECAUSE HE DIDN’T EVEN TRY TO CONCEAL HIS TEARS WHEN HE SAID ‘I CAN’T EVEN PROVIDE FOR MY FAMILY.’
WITHOUT EVEN THINKING I PUT MY CARD IN HIS MACHINE AND TOLD HIM JESUS CHRIST THE SON OF GOD DIED TO PROVIDE FOR YOU. FILL UP. SOMETHING, SOMETHING CAME ALIVE IN HIM. HE WAS IN SHOCK AND IT WAS LIKE HE FORGOT HOW TO PUMP GAS.
IN THAT SAME MOMENT HIS WIFE GOT OUT OF HER CAR, SHE ASKED HER HUSBAND WHAT WAS GOING ON AND HE TOLD HER I JUST PAYED FOR THEIR GAS SHE STARTED TO CRY AND CAME AROUND THE CORNER TO SHAKE MY HAND WHEN I SAW HER PANTS DIRTY AND TORN. I ASKED HER TO COME TO MY CAR.
THE AIRPORT LOST SOME OF MY LUGGAGE ON MY WAY TO MINNESOTA FROM CALIFORNIA AND I HAD TO CLEAN OUT MY CLOSET TO FIND STUFF TO WEAR AND GET RID OF A LOT OF STUFF ALL OF THAT STUFF THAT I HAD YET TO GIVE AWAY WAS SITTING IN THE BACK SEAT OF THE CAR AND IN THE TRUNK. I OPENED UP MY CAR AND TOLD THE LADY TO TAKE WHAT SHE WANTED.”
The Kindness Didn’t End There
Without another word, the woman ran back to her van. Nicole said she was scared that she had offended her in some way, but she had done the opposite!
“A MOMENT LATER SHE AND HER TWO GIRLS WERE DIGGING THROUGH THOSE CLOTHES LAYERING MY SWEATSHIRTS AND SHIRTS AND SWEATPANTS OVER THE WORN OUT CLOTHES THEY HAD BEEN WEARING.
SOON THE FATHER HAD FINISHED PUMPING THE GAS AND CAME OVER. THIS ATTRACTED A LITTLE CROWD AT THE GAS STATION. SOME OLDER MAN GAVE THE FAMILY A GIFT CARD AND ANOTHER MIDDLE-AGED MAN GAVE AWAY HIS JACKET TO THE FATHER. NEVER IN MY LIFE DID I THINK I WOULD SEE THIS KIND OF THING HAPPEN AT A GAS STATION WITH A HANDFUL OF COMPLETE STRANGERS.
BUT IT GIVES ME HOPE. THAT THE LOVE OF GOD CAN BE SO CONTAGIOUS. THAT WE ARE NOT ALONE IN BEING THE CHANGE WE WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD. THAT GOD’S LOVE IS GREATER THAN ANYTHING AND WE GET TO BE A PART OF THAT LOVE CHANGING LIVES. AND HE ALWAYS PROVIDES!”
Hopefully the donations of those at the gas station can be enough to help them begin a better life. It may not be much in the grand scheme of things, but their gifts represent hope and the love of God!
Following God’s Word
Nicole was able to see the powerful influence of God’s will that morning at the gas station. He was the guiding force behind her generous actions, and those of the strangers who also gave their belongings!
Nicole and the people at the gas station came together to help a family when they had nothing to their name. We should use their selfless actions as inspiration in our own lives and strive do the same when given a chance from God!