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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Leadership (03/14/05)

TITLE: Testimony of a tire-changer
By Lori Othouse


Thunder rumbled in the distance as the first few drops of rain began to fall. Sighing loudly, Rachel looked one more time at the flat tire. She had no jack and didn't know how to change a tire anyway; John had always taken care of that. They had been separated for almost four months now and she was still trying to get used to the whole independence thing.

Cars whizzed by on the busy highway, but no one stopped to offer help. She could walk, but she still had her work clothes and shoes on, not to mention-


Her son, Tyler, wailed from the backseat. He had been patient, but a two-year old can only sit still for so long.

"What, sweetie?" Rachel answered wearily.

"I want juice!"

She sighed again. She had left his cup at the daycare and had nothing else in the car.

"I don't have any juice right now. You'll have to wait until we get home."

"I want juice!"

"Tyler, I told you, I don't have-"

"I want juice! I want juice! I want juice! I want..."

Rachel got out of the car and looked desperately up and down the street. She would have to do something soon. As she was about to get Tyler out of his carseat, another car pulled over in front of her. A friendly looking man stepped out, wearing a suit.

"You need some help?" he asked.

Rachel normally didn't like the idea of strangers coming to her rescue, but with the rain falling harder and Tyler crying louder, she gladly accepted.

"Yes, my tire's flat and I don't have a jack and I don't really know how to-"

The man held up his hand. "Say no more. I can take care of it in no time. Here, take this umbrella."

Without another word, he went to work. Rachel was trying to calm Tyler when the man walked over to her and offered her a juice box. She stared at him in surprise.

"My daughter can't go anywhere without her juice, so I always have these in the car. Go ahead, take it."

Rachel quickly handed the juice to Tyler who quieted down happily.

"Thank you so much..."

"It's no problem. I'm almost done here."

He finished up and then walked back over to her, wiping his hands on a rag. She noticed a greasy spot on his suit.

"Oh, your suit! I'm so sorry! Let me have it cleaned for you." she offered.

"I wouldn't think of it! It's no big deal, really."

Rachel fumbled for the right words. "I want to pay you something, but I only have a few dollars..."

"That's not necessary."

"But I feel like I'll never be able to repay you..."

The man smiled. "All the better," he said. "Do you or your son need anything else?"

Rachel shook her head silently, still wondering at his last statement. The man looked at his watch.

"I better go, then. Take care now and God bless!"

With that, he was gone. Rachel realized she was still holding his umbrella and hadn't even gotten his name. It was then she noticed something on the ground. It was a church bulletin. This church was only a few miles from there and they had a mid-week service starting in about half an hour. If this was the man's church, maybe she could give him back his umbrella. Feeling spontaneous, she drove to a nearby deli to get a quick sandwich for Tyler and continued to the church.

The praise and worship was lively and sincere. Rachel found herself actually enjoying what she thought might be boring. Suddenly, her eyes widened as the pastor stepped to the podium. It was him! Her tire-changer was a pastor! She cringed in her seat as she recognized the stain on his suit. His kindness to her now seemed even more amazing.

Rachel smiled when she heard the title of his sermon, "Christianity in Action." She knew this man of God was also a man of his word (and His Word). She also knew she would be back again. This man led his church the way he led his own life...as a leader who first knows how to serve.

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This article has been read 1281 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Bob Zoellner03/21/05
I had a feeling near the end that the man was going to be a pastor - and I loved it! Servant leadership by example, just the way the Lord intended! I enjoyed your story.
Lynda Lee Schab 03/21/05
This was a fun read. Well-written and left me with a smile on my face.
Great job!
Blessings, Lynda
Kyle Chezum03/21/05
This was very original and well-written! Keep up the good work!
Karen Deikun03/21/05
A great story! I even know a pastor or two who would do just what this man did.
Mary Alice Bowles03/21/05
This story is so heart warming, it blesses me beyond words! Thank you
Criss Bertling03/22/05
Great story. There are too few leaders like the pastor your described. What a joy when we are blessed by one.
Dixie Phillips03/22/05
This article reminded me of the old saying, "God with skin on." or the other saying "When necessary use words!"
Leticia Caroccio03/23/05
A heartwarming story. A great lesson to learn about how the simplest acts of kindness can lead someone to Christ, if done in His name. Your writing has a spark. Nicely done.
Kathy Cartee03/25/05
Excellent story.

It is a wonderful thing to see servants of the Lord following Jesus by example.

Delores Baber03/27/05
What a beautiful example of a servant/leader. One with a shepherd's heart. At first I thought he might be an angel, but now I suspect it was the angel who flattened your tire so this exchange could take place. Thank you sharing and blessing us with this story.
Debbie OConnor03/28/05
This was one of my favorites this week. Shouldn't be surprised to see who wrote it! Lori, you are a wonderful writer. This story was poignant. Great work!
Nancy Hardy03/28/05
I echo all the other comments. This is truly delightful story - where the tire of leadership meets the road of need. I am so very happy to see this receive such high acknowledgement. Congratulations!! - Nancy
Deborah Porter 03/29/05
Lori, you really are becoming quite a regular in the placings for the Challenge. Congratulations once again on your great win again for our last challenge for the quarter. Well done (as always). With love, Deb (Challenge Co-ordinator)
Karen Treharne03/30/05
Congratulations, Lori. This is a blessing to read, interesting with good dialogue. It is so true - our leader was here to serve! Well told. Yours in His name, Karen
Karen Deikun04/07/05
Lori, this was just wonderful and quite deserving of the win.
Amy Michelle Wiley 05/02/05
I really enjoyed this story!
Ann Grover11/11/05
This was the first story I read here at FW, months before I finally joined... it touched me because I have a pastor like that... a serving shepherd... thanks....