Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Only by the Spirit in me...

Last year at this time, I had a very upsetting thing happen to me in the parking lot of Costco.  At the time, I told very few people about it because I truly felt like the Holy Spirit had moved in me that day and I feared that telling the story would somehow come across as me taking credit for what only Christ deserves credit for!  I did share my story with a local radio station through email and did so anonymously.  Today I am sharing this story to all of you for two reasons:

1 ~ Be open to the Holy Spirit in your own life!  As we become more aware of his promptings, we are able to walk in obedience more easily!

2 ~ It’s the holiday season – be careful out there!  It is cold, people are desperate, and will do desperate things!  I pray protection over each one of you as you go about your days!

Here is the story {as emailed to the radio station}:

Not the actual man - but one just like him!

Today, I was shopping at Costco with my 18yo son and 3 of my little ones.  We were parked right at the front door 4 spaces from the carts.  As we were leaving, my son was pushing my daughter in the cart ahead of me with my other daughter right next to them.  I was lagging by about 20 feet as I had my 20 mo old on my back and am pregnant. 

As my son was approaching our van, I heard him say, "Hey Man!  Give me a break!" while looking towards the driver's side of the vehicle. 

I said, "What’s going on?" 

He said, "These guys are siphoning our gas!" 

By then I was to the vehicle...I stood right in front of their car and slammed my hands on the hood and called the man a foul name.  I told my son to call the police and was prepared to stand my ground so that they couldn't leave.  That is right when the Holy Spirit took over in me...I said, "Why would you do something like that?" 
To which the man answered, "I'm just trying to get home.  I live in Seattle and I'm out of gas." 
I then responded, "Do you need money?" 

And he said, "Yes!" 

I told my son to hold on a minute as he had not yet called the police. 

I approached the driver of the car... as I approached; I noticed a passenger on the other side, and another passenger lying down in the back. 

I said, “I’m sorry I called you (that name).  But, why would you do that?  You don't know my circumstances, you don't know if I'm not on my last bit of gas.  Why didn't you just ask somebody for money?" 

He said he didn't know, it didn't feel right to him. 

So I said, “Hold on a minute, I'm going to give you some money.” 

I grabbed $20 {a rare occurrence for me to have cash} out of my wallet, and headed back to him.  As I squatted down next to him, he said, "I can't take your money." 

So I asked him if he knew Jesus Christ. 

He said, "Yeah, kind of." 

I said, "Well, you are obviously not walking with him right now.  But I want you to know that He doesn't care if you are stealing gas, or lying, or doing drugs, or what you are doing, if you are willing to turn from your ways and admit you're on the wrong path, He wants to rescue you!" 

I apologized another time for calling him (that name), and he apologized to me for stealing my gas.   

I said, "I know that I look like a middle class woman with everything going for her right now, but you need to know that I had a baby at 17, did my share of drugs and alcohol and was completely down and out, but Christ changed all of that for me, and he will do it for you.  So when you are in that place where you find yourself with nowhere to go and nothing to eat and totally strung out and your thinking, "what the heck did I do with my life", I want you to remember the face of this woman who you were stealing gas from that gave you 20 bucks, and told you about Jesus and cry out to Him because He will rescue you from that place." 

He again said, "I can't take your money and I'm sorry for stealing your gas." 

I handed him the money and said, "I would give you more, but this is all I have.  I want you to have it, because this is what Christ would do for you!" 

He asked me if I was sure and I told him that yes, because Christ loved him and wanted me to give him the money. He apologized again, and left.

Two things struck me:

The passenger next to him dropped his chin to his chest when I mentioned Jesus, and looked up and looked me straight in the eye when said, "I want you to remember the face of this woman..."

I'm praying for those three young men...even as I was on my way home, that if I didn't do the right thing, if they were meant to be in jail, then God would allow something else to happen so that they would be pulled over. 

Please join me as I pray for those men, they are someone's sons, and Christ loves them too...they may end up doing mighty things for His kingdom one day, remembering a face that hopefully reflected the true heart of Christ!

All Glory to God!

Photo: "Running Out of Time"  by Tom Stone Art


  1. As your Mother I think I am glad I don't hear about these things when they happen. I mean God only knows what I would do..Amen...do I hear an Amen??? I love the way our Lord works through you in so many ways. Even if those guys were crooks, that is not something they will ever forget. Please don't stand in front of or in back of a car though, k? Love you so much, Mom

  2. What a powerful testimony of the work Jesus can do if we let Him use us for His benefit. I hope that those 3 men were changed by what happened and thank you for sharing your story.
    Love you!

  3. Wow, that brought tears to my eyes. What a powerful testimony of the Lord working in you. And may He work just as powerfully in those young men's hearts because they WILL remember you!

  4. WOW. That is all I can say. Thank you for sharing this.