You never know

About a week ago I was driving in heavy traffic along University Avenue in Madison, Wisconsin when something caught my eye. A young man walking on the sidewalk appeared to stumble. He righted himself, took another step, and then faltered again. Traffic was pushing me forward, but as I drove by, I saw him sink to the ground.

I pulled into the next parking lot, ran back, found him sitting cross legged at the edge of a parking lot near a stone wall.

“Are you okay?”

His words came back in little chunks separated by long pauses. “I’m having trouble … breathing … I need … to call … my mom.”

I pulled out my phone. “I’m calling 911.”

The paramedics arrived; I was no longer needed, so I went on my way. But as I left, I got thinking to myself: If I hadn’t pulled over, would anybody have pulled over? A young man was sitting on the ground looking at his phone. Nothing unusual about that. He would have become part of the landscape.

I may have saved his life.

I don’t know of course. But maybe I did.

You never know when God is going to position you to save someone’s life. Not just medically, but in other ways.

I graduated from high school in 1975. Late that summer, just before I left for college, my youth pastor took me aside and said to me, “God is going to use you for something great someday.”

Wow. It only took a few seconds for him to say that, but those words came back to me many, many times throughout my life. I was homeless with a wife and a little baby. I was hungry. My business failed. I was forced into bankruptcy. So many times I felt like giving up, but I couldn’t give up.


Because God was going to use me for something great someday. I knew I had to keep going. Those words compelled me to persevere.

Likewise, you never know what lasting power your simple act of kindness may have in someone else’s life.


PS. As an author, I depend on you to help spread the word on my books. If you like reading and if you’re open to leaving a review on Amazon or mentioning the book on Facebook or wherever, here’s a very short video introducing my latest book, End the Divide, and information about how you can get a free copy.

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