“Can I have a ride to Quik Check?”
That was the request from the 20-something young man who leaned in the passenger side window of my car.
I had just left the church parking lot and was traveling west on Main Street, and was stopped in traffic for a light at High Street. I did not know and had never seen this thin young man who approached my car. He was wearing black shorts and a brown t-shirt on this very hot afternoon. Sweat dripped from his face.
His approach and question caught me by surprise. I reflected that the Quik Chek store is just 3 blocks away. I wondered if perhaps he knew me as a local pastor, even though I did not know him. Apparently not. I wondered if he had a physical problem I could not detect.
“Sure - hop in the back seat” I replied. My front seat was covered with stuff.
The light still had not changed so as he climbed in I reached to shake hands over the seat and introduced myself, and told him I was Trinity’s pastor.
“Hi,” he smiled, “I’m Shawn.”
And Shawn started talking. The traffic was heavy and we moved slowly up Main Street.
Within 4 minutes he told me of some of his successes and failures, his accomplishments and his detours. Right now he was on a long detour.
He just kept talking. I barely said a word.
As we turned into the Quik Chek parking lot and I stopped by the front door, Shawn said a sincere thank you.
“If you want to talk more, I’m at the red brick church,” I replied. “God bless you.”
And out he went and into the store.
I wonder about those few minutes and about Shawn. He seemed to need to talk. I was there, in a random encounter. Or was it random?
I think that sometimes God puts people in our lives for a reason. I’ve been wondering what that might be for Shawn…or for me.
And I reflect on the fact that I had a choice when Shawn approached my car.
A choice to say yes…or no.
I’m glad I said yes.