It was hot in North Texas yesterday. This morning the weatherman reported that we've exceeded 100° for eleven out of the past twelve days. Yesterday was among the hotter of those days. I think they were forecasting an afternoon high of 104° F.
I was walking toward my car in the church parking lot, on my way to Rotary Club when my wife Tracy rang my cell phone. "Are you in Rotary Club yet?"
"Not yet, but I'm headed that way. What's up?"
"I'm out here East of town on 380, and there are two elderly couples riding together in a car. They've had a flat tire, and it is way too hot for them to be changing a flat tire. Can you round up somebody to help?"
I replied, "I don't need anybody to help with just a flat tire. I'll be out there in a minute."
So I rolled through the Shell station here in town and picked up five bottles of Dasani (I figure I'll be overheated, too, in a few minutes). I made quick work of the three miles or so to the spot on U.S. 380 where the immaculate Cadillac had been sidelined by a blowout.
By that time another young man had pulled over. He had a truck with a toolbox and a "real" jack. Between the two of us, we quickly had the donut spare on the car. I instructed the family to follow me to a tire shop in Farmersville.
A brief conversation revealed that all four were Christians and were active members of their Baptist church back in Longview, Texas. The owner of the Caddy was, in fact, a Cadillac dealer there—thus the new and pristine car they were driving. The foursome declined to share lunch with me at a local establishment (lunch at Rotary club was no longer a possibility for me), anxious to make their way onward toward McKinney and then Plano for a shopping outing. We made our farewells and I went on to clean up and eat.
A few minutes later, a concrete truck struck them in Princeton (the next town up the road). The owner of the car was killed. One of the ladies wound up in a McKinney hospital with a fractured pelvis. A member of our church—a nurse—prayed with them and was encouraging them and ministering to them when they learned that she is a member here. They asked her to call me and let me know.
I preach it, so I ought to know and remember that any person we meet any day might be standing on the brink of eternity. But I forget, too—not intellectually, but in my heart. Occasions like this one shock me back into the harsh reality that surrounds us. Let us be faithful to be a witness for Christ whenever and wherever we can.