Nicole Marie Heintz didn’t expect to make a difference in the life of one family when she stopped for gas lately. She spotted a man crying at the gas pump on a frigid morning in Minnesota. Something impelled her to approach him and inquire as to what was wrong.
What happened next astounded the man and his family, but it also confirmed Nicole’s belief that doing good for others helps to improve the world.
Her tale went viral after she published it on Facebook:
“I was just driving to work and had to stop for gas, so I gave myself a little extra time to get to work.” When I arrived at the gas station, I turned off my car and observed a middle-aged man bawling in front of the pump. I started to worry what had happened to this man, and when I got out of my car and looked at him, my heart seemed to stop.”
“It’s 10 degrees and bitterly cold in Apple Valley, Minnesota, with the wind. This man was dressed in flip flops with holes in his socks. I glance in his car and see his wife in the front seat, her face hidden behind her hands, and his two teenage daughters in the back seat, both hugging under a blanket.
“I didn’t even think twice before approaching the man and asking, ‘Sir, is something wrong?'” When he replied, ‘I can’t even provide for my family,’ I could tell he was on the edge of giving up since he didn’t even try to hide his tears.
“I put my card in his machine without thinking and tell him Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died to provide for you.” Fill up your tank. In him, something, anything, sprung to life. He was stunned, and it was as if he had forgotten how to operate a gas pump.”
“At the same time, his wife got out of her car and inquired about what was going on, to which he replied that I had just paid for their petrol. She began to cry and walked around the corner to shake my hand when I noticed her clothes were filthy and tattered.” I summoned her to my vehicle.
“On my way to Minnesota from California, the airport misplaced part of my luggage, so I had to clean out my wardrobe to find something to wear and get rid of a lot of stuff. All of that stuff that I hadn’t given away was sitting in the back seat of the car and in the trunk.” I let the lady into my car and told her to take everything she wanted.
“This lady dashed back to her vehicle.” I was terrified that I had just embarrassed her, but she and her two daughters were searching through those items moments later, layering my sweaters, shirts, and sweat pants over the worn-out clothes they had been wearing.
“As soon as my father finished pumping gas, he came over. At the gas station, this drew a small throng. A cub gift card was given to the family by an elderly man, and a middle-aged man handed his jacket to the father. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine seeing something like this happen at a gas station among a group of complete strangers.
“However, it gives me hope.” That God’s love may be so infectious. That we are not alone in our efforts to make the world a better place. God’s love is greater than everything, and we have the opportunity to be a part of it altering lives. And HE never fails to give!”