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Pleasure Dome Thunder BW

Eager Car Guard

Friday, 17 July 2020 — My wife and I pulled into the open parking at The Boulders mall here in Midrand. It was for our trailer’s license renewal at the post office, not an exciting or leisurely excursion. Green reflective vests dotted the sun-baked parking lot. Eager parking attendants vied for our attention, to get our car parked in their zone.

A really long wait in the post office queue ended in disappointment. The dysfunctional card machine sent me on a cash withdrawal detour to the ATM, one floor up. Eventually relieved that the license was paid, R62 cash remained in my wallet.

I took out the R2 coin and slipped it into my trouser pocket. This was for later, for tipping the parking attendant. It’s quicker and more discreet to take cash from my pocket.

As we strolled through the mall, past the fast food places, a beggar approached us for help. Out came my wallet, and I handed him the R10 bill. A R50 bill remained. While walking to the mall’s exit, the Lord told me the parking attendant would require R20 instead of the R2 which I had purposed to give. This was news!

Although I love being generous, most often I don’t have enough cash, giving just the few coins I have, around R5 at most. Giving R20 for parking is far beyond my norm. We usually keep this kind of money for other necessities.

Out in the bright daylight, the overeager guard assured us of how well the old Mercedes station-wagon had been guarded, and what fantastic car he thought it was! Instead of a cynical reaction to such blatant flattery, I remained aware of God’s involvement. Instead of reaching for the R2 in my pocket, I reached for my wallet. I mentioned no amount, but asked if he had change for a R50 bill. He shouted at a fellow attendant to bring him R30. According to him the tip was supposed to be R20, exactly as God had spoken.

If God had not prepared me to give R20, I may have caused offense in the man with how little I would tip. I may have taken offense at how this man was boldly laying claim to my meagre cash supply. Based on the man’s overzealous behavior, an altercation may have turned nasty, even if just verbally.

Despite poor circumstance, I was so well prepared by the Lord to give R20 instead of R2, I even thanked the man and told him “God bless” before we drove off. I felt deeply blessed by God in this situation.

Thanks to God, this stranger got what he wanted even though I was ignorant to his need. There was peace and joy between us, and hearts remained clean. This stranger was my neighbor. God’s love for this particular neighbor was guided by His Holy Spirit, leading me to do God’s will. God led me to give him greater consideration than I otherwise would have. Such is God’s amazing love!