(this was my Thought For The Day on Good Morning Ulster on September 15, 2021... dedicated to our Good Samaritans - Steven Auld, Lesley Emerson, David Fleming, Colin Goodman, Team Hinds and a coupe of strangers)
Sunday afternoon was no classic for the Stockmans and yet ended up what might against the odds be a lifetime family memory.
My daughter Jasmine was taking some friends for lunch and broke down on the Saintfield Road. Between Beechill Road and Cairnshill Road. Right at the lights. Lovely spot to spend a few hours.
We have breakdown cover. They’ll sort it. Phoned. Be there at 2.20. No worries. 3 o’clock and we are still enjoying the traffic, still no help. Phone again. You have been recovered they said. You are on your way to Dundalk they said. Not us. Still on Saintfield Road.
Would you believe that two Kia Rios had gear box trouble. less than a mile apart in the same half hour. Such a freak of coincidence meant that confusion broke out in breakdown services and the two cars became one and somehow we were forgotten! .
In such situations you find out who your Good Samaritans are. A Presbyterian colleague and his wife wound down their window to wave and cheer… and drive on. Must have thought that that the busy intersection was our favourite picnic spot.
But out of the hundreds and hundreds of cars there were indeed a few Good Samaritans. A dear friend brought coffee and a Baptist pastor I hardly knew left his phone number and then brought back a food parcel. A couple of others who we knew and 2 random strangers stopped as well.
None of them could fix a gear box BUT just knowing we were seen was enough to warm our hearts and keep us going.
In the Bible there is a woman called Hagar who was like an invisible woman heading out into the dessert to escape her situation. She becomes the first person in Scripture to be visited by an angel. After God blessed Hagar she gave the place the name that means
“You are the God who sees me,”
Being seen. On Sunday I realised how important that is. Knowing who it is that sees me makes a difference. And when we see other people we can make a difference too. Like those kind few on Sunday afternoon who made what could have been a miserable afternoon bearable. Thank you so much.