Assaulted By A Redneck

One day while entering a grocery store, I noticed an elderly woman leaving with a loaded grocery cart.  I gently put my hand on her shoulder and said, “Ma’am, those canned goods look awfully heavy.  Can I load those into your car for you?”  She responded, “Oh yes, that would be wonderful.  Thank you so much.”  I then pushed her loaded cart as she placed her arm in mine.

Turns out this elderly woman loved to talk.  A lot.   We chatted for 10 minutes even after I finished loading her car.  I then said my good-bye and returned to the store to finish my shopping.

It took me 30 minutes before I was back at my car loading my own groceries.  Then out of my corner of my eye, a dumpy redneck jeep parked in front of my car and out stepped a man.  My judgement was this man is dangerous.  He was tall and huge with a long gray beard and wearing a leather jacket.  Who knows how long since his last haircut or his last arrest or assault.  And from his body language and his walking pace towards me, I knew he meant business.  I needed to run and run fast.  But he was too fast for me.

Doing a wide-eagle arm spread, this burly man almost picks me off my feet in a bear hug.  I don’t even have time to respond, thus leaving my arms awkwardly mashed to my sides.  I had no way to escape his assaulting bear hug when he says, “I watched what you did for that elderly woman.  I wish there were more men like you in the world.”  I just hung there as his squishable teddy bear in complete shock.  Once he let go, I said it was no big deal and that I was just trying to be good.  And with the same walking pace as before, he climbed into his redneck jeep and left. 

This experience left with me with two impressions:

  1. I completely misjudged this man.  He is the salt of the earth and full of goodness. 
  2.  I had no idea anyone was watching me or that my actions would affect another bystander.

I hope to be less judgmental and more aware how my actions can testify of God’s goodness.  As Luke wrote: 

“…God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good…” Acts 10:38