It wasn't anything I expected, or even hoped would happen. In fact, it stressed me out and brought me to tears for a while. Yet I am so extremely grateful I experienced it.
The nice old man named Richard was my angel tonight, and he taught me a valuable lesson on gratitude. There could not be a better week to reflect on my blessings than Thanksgiving.
Here's what happened...
The big storm everyone's been freaking out about (you know, the one that “will far surpass anything that we've seen, probably for the last several years." according to BYU and the weather channel) was well on its way to Provo tonight when I finally got back to my apartment from practice. It was then I realized I had a flat tire. I was planning on leaving tomorrow morning for home because I have a lot to get done before the break, but was convinced otherwise by my panicked mother, and Kristen and I decided it would be best to race to Alpine before the storm hit. Since I am CLUELESS when it comes to cars, some sweet boys in our ward changed the tire for me (thing #1 to be grateful for)! Kristen and I threw a few clothes into bags and were ready to leave within 10 minutes after changing the tire. Time was key; the faster we could leave, the safer it would be. I decided to drive home slowly on the spare. I called my mom, happily telling her that Kristen and I were finally on our way and we'd be in Alpine soon.
No more than 10 MINUTES LATER, my spare tired popped. I pulled into the Burgers Supreme parking lot on University Parkway and burst into tears... The storm was getting closer and I seriously could not believe everything that was happening. Kristen turned around to come get me and I ran into the restaurant to ask the manager if it would be ok to park my car there overnight, with the storm coming and my tire situation. He was on his way out, also trying to beat the storm, but what he did for me is something I will never forget.
Instead of just saying I could leave my car there, he ran out in the cold to look at my flat spare tire. After looking at it for a few minutes, he grabbed the real tire out of my trunk. He practically ordered Kristen and I to go inside the restaurant and get warm. He then drove to Big-O-Tires, had the tire patched and fixed for me, and put the good tire on my car. All of this in the freezing, snowy, windy weather.
This stranger wouldn't accept any money, nor would he tell me his last name. All he could say was that if I wanted to be really nice, I could bake some cookies and take them to Steve over at Big-O-Tires for fixing my tire. When I thanked him over and over, he just said, "If you were my daughter, I would want someone to take care of you when you needed help. I know you're somebody's daughter."
Richard was late coming home to his family on a night when it probably wasn't convenient, with the storm coming and all. I hope his wife knows that she married an incredible man.
Never have I been struck so hard by the Christ-like acts of a stranger. It really made me think of how blessed I am, and that I have SO MUCH to be grateful for. It made me think about how often I thank my Heavenly Father for everything He gives me on a daily basis, and I definitely don't thank Him enough.
It also made me think about how I want to be somebody's angel. We are all sent here to earth to struggle together, and to lift each other up in time of need. I want to be like Richard, selfless and charitable. I want to be an instrument in the Lord's hand. I want to think outside myself more often.
What started as a stressful night has turned into the best night I've had in a long time. A chill, relaxed evening in the apartment with Kristen and lots of time to think about the things I'm grateful for! I love that our Heavenly Father blesses us with these experiences. I hope all of you sit down and take the time to thank Him for all that you have, especially this week, and have a happy Thanksgiving! :)