Who is that stranger along the road with the thumb up?
Hundreds of times we’ve passed hitchhikers along the road. A few times we’ve stopped and given them a ride. There have even been occasions when we’ve gone by so fast we hardly saw them, made a u-turn, returned and offered our service.
Every time, without exception, we’ve felt good about doing the deed. Likewise, the travelers have appeared genuinely appreciative of the lift we provided. Even a couple of times, when the walkers were hungry and hot or cold from their slow strides on the dirty roadway, we gave them a piece of candy or a can of pop we happened to have in the car.
While it’s the chivalrous, generous, congenial gesture one should always follow, that by far and away has not been the case. Most often, the helpfulness has come when we’ve seen an acquaintance in distress, flat tire, etc..
Majority of those we’ve helped have not been the true hitchhiker; they haven’t had their thumbs in the air seeking a ride. Our conscience just seemed to tell us our help was really needed, and we should assist.
A number of times, we have had breakdowns in our travels. Never have we put our thumb up and asked for a ride. However, without exception, we have always been offered assistance, usually shortly after our trouble occurred.
Methods of communications have changed things considerably from what it was decades ago. Now, most people have a way to call for help when there is a problem.
Horror stories about disastrous aftermaths of picking up true hitchhikers make us cautious of anyone who is actually begging for a ride. It could be their luck has dropped to the lowest level, they have absolutely nothing in the whole world, and their only way to hopefully get ahead is down the road afoot.
Yet, inwardly we always remember the beggars on the corner, who if they are offered a job will not take it because it’s easier to have somebody give them something. We realize and admit this is wrong, but our caution seems to overpower our generous desire. An added excuse, and it is basically true, there is nowhere for another to sit.
As soon as we get to our destination, we kick ourself as we recall Matthew 25:43: “I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.”
We have become like Matthew 25:44: “Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?”
How will we ever know it isn’t Him with a thumb up, unless we stop and help? We really should think of everyone as Him.