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The kindness of a stranger

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Dear Editor,
I recently encountered a selfless, anonymous person and had to let everyone, especially the people of Springfield, know that there are Good Samaritans everywhere among us.

I recently visited a friend in Springfield to help him run an errand that he could not afford to do himself. I also didn’t know for sure if I had enough gas to get from my home (Lebanon) to Springfield and back, as I am currently broke and unemployed.

I made it to his house and we accomplished our task. He thanked me and then handed me all the money he had, $1.92 in change. This was about enough for a half of a gallon of gas, which in my car would probably be good for about 10 miles, just enough to get me home.

As I was standing at the gas station counter counting my pennies, I mentioned to the cashier, “I hope this will get me to Lebanon.” I then went out to pump the gas, but it cut off about 30 cents short of what I had paid for. Thinking that this 30 cents might be the difference between getting to Lebanon and getting to my driveway, I re-entered the store to tell the cashier. She simply said to hang up the pump and restart. So I did. Only this time instead of stopping at 30 cents, the meter kept running. I stopped it around the $2 mark realizing a mistake had been made and I had pumped more gas than I had paid for.

The second I stopped the pump, a gentleman in a pick-up truck stopped, rolled down his window and said, “keep pumping ‘til it stops.”

I had no idea what he meant. I surely didn’t want to “pump and run” or rip off the gas station. Then the stranger was gone. I wanted to do the right thing, so I went back in and told the cashier that the meter had kept running and I had pumped more gas than I had the money to pay for (I don’t have a credit card).

I was politely informed to reset the pump and that a gentleman had paid for $20 worth of gas for me. I was floored. “Who was it?” I asked.

They did not know. I had never seen the man and have not seen him since.

Anonymously helping me and wanting nothing in return renewed my faith in mankind. God certainly works in mysterious ways. I went to help a friend, not knowing if I would make it, and the Lord provided me with a friend to assure that I would.

I would certainly like to know who this individual was so I could repay him in some way. That withstanding, I am paying it forward and have used the remaining gas to transport a sick friend to a doctor’s appointment in Bardstown.

God is real, and if we just get out of his way, he will make sure that his will is done.

I and my Samaritan friend are just small cogs in a huge wheel called life. If everyone would be this mindful of their neighbors’ plights, this world would surely be a greater place. So I can only quote what Bob Dylan said 45 years ago: If you see your neighbor carrying something, help him with his load, and don’t go mistaking paradise for that home across the road.

Gerald Spalding
Lebanon, Ky.