Thumbing It

Thumbing it:  Definition (v.) hitchhiking; asking for a ride by holding out your thumb on the side of the road

The other day, I gave a hitchhiker a ride! I see them all of the time. My first thought is, “Awe, they need a ride.” Then I think…he could be a murderer or a thief. What if he’s high on drugs?” We’ve all thought like this before. But today something was different. The man was 60-65 years old. He had on the typical clothes for his age. He had the white socks pulled up mid-calf. The kacky shorts with a Polo shirt.

I’m flying by on a back road outside of town. And there he is. I come up to him and he sticks his thumb out with a smile and as I stare, he nods and smiles. Two seconds later I turned around. Now at this time is when my logical thinking starts kicking in. “He’s got something rolled up he’s holding under his arm. Could be a knife or a gun or an axe! Yikes what are you doing Amy?” So I put my purse down deep on the backseat floor and pull up and ask him where he’s headed. He tells me the neighboring town. I tell him I can take him and I’m going that way. He’s quiet as he gets in. I’m quiet and say a quick prayer, “Lord, keep me safe.”

Well if you know me, I’ve never met a stranger and will get anyone to talk if I try hard enough. So we talk. He was planning to walk to town for an appointment from his home. It’s a hot day. The time it would take would be 2 1/2 hours for him to walk. He doesn’t give me a sob story. He doesn’t give me many details but that he needs dropped off anywhere by the courthouse.

As we’re going along I see that what he has rolled up in his arm was a rain coat that’s got the reflective patches on it. He was prepared. {I on the other hand was not. And I will tell you why in a few.} I tell him about how I was kind of nervous picking someone up and was hoping not to end up on the front page of the newspaper. This, he gives a soft chuckle to; but what he says next still rings in my ears…

He says, “On the back roads I’ll usually put a thumb out there, but if I’m in town and I’m by the highways and busy streets, I won’t. I don’t know who is going to pick me up. Back in the day you could thumb it all over and folks were safe.”

I never thought about it from that point of view. Here I’m scared of this man with his all-weather gear, footing it for 2 1/2 miles and all the while he’s wondering about the lady who is driving too fast and is she gonna run him into a phone pole or something. (I’m a leadfoot-I probably blew past him so fast that the wind blew his thumb out in the air.)

I mentioned church one time. About a lady who goes to my church who lives in his same town. That’s it. I didn’t say, “Hey anyone ever tell you about Jesus?” Nothing! Not even “God bless you” when he got out of the car. I wasn’t prepared. And when the time came, I froze. My only hope is that he saw a church going woman do a friendly act of kindness.

Seems like some poeple are just made for this kind if witnessing, yet it’s all of our responsibility to seek and save that which is lost.

What would you have said? Would you have offered to pray with him? Or ask him if he needed prayer? Would you have offered him money? Or invited him to church? Do you get nervous and freeze in these kind of situations? Lastly, do you think that being a good samaritan and showing kindness are enough to witness Jesus to someone?


40 Replies to “Thumbing It”

  1. Amy I think I’m like you! (Though you may be more brave because I don’t know if I could pick up a hitchhiker with all the crazy headlines you hear these days.) What I mean though, is that I would have probably made polite conversation and then thought of fifty things I wanted to say once he was already gone. I really do believe that being a Good Samaritan is a deeply effective way to show Jesus to others. I’m sure after his 60-some years he is wise enough to connect the dots between your church comment and your good act to see and understand what drove you to help him that day. Good job, sister 😁👍🏻

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I hope it was enough. Isn’t it funny how we can be so brave to those we KNOW are already saved but timid around the ones that need our bravery the most? It’s because we already the “sale” in the bag with those who are already saved.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. I think the one certain indicator that our lives and society have changed (and not for the best) is the fact that you really can’t hitchhike like you could fifty years ago. We’ve lost that common sense of civility that could provide for safety among strangers.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Sister, you did well. I’d say if you’re concerned about it, perhaps God is directing you to begin now to pray for this man and for any other strangers God may intend to send your way. Pray that God will be working in their hearts to soften them to His love for them. Pray that you will be His mouthpiece in future opportunities. And you could even pray that God will give you another opportunity with this same guy, if it’s His will, and that God will give you the right words when the time comes. I would take this as the beginning of a learning experience of walking (and driving) in the Spirit and letting Him direct your every move and your every word. 👏 Keep up the good work! 😊

    Liked by 4 people

      1. I absolutely agree…this is how it starts! Keep seeking Him and asking Him for opportunities to show His love to others…and when it’s right to say something you’ll know! Way to go for searching it out too. God loves you!

        Liked by 2 people

  4. I might never have stopped, and if I did, only God knows what I’d have said to the man, if anything at all. As for mentioning Jesus, we all know the answer…but things have changed for me in the past few days and it’s amazing that I just wrote it in my latest post titled The Turning.

    Your kindness was a seed sown that the Lord by Himself will water, so it was great you availed yourself.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. First of all I’m glad you didn’t end up on the newspaper or didn’t crash the man into a pole lol. Your question runs deep, as for me I think actions speak louder than words most of the time. However, from my personal experience if I’m second doubting myself about not witnessing to somebody then perhaps God had laid it in my heart to say something, but I doubted myself thus the later pondering and trying to talk myself out of guilt. Again this is from my personal experience. I don’t normally go through the neighborhood shouting like John the baptist to repent but I’ve some times feel an urge to speak and when I don’t I’m full of excuses of why I didn’t. I’m like Ananias, you sending me to Saul to kill me?! Of course Ananias was more obedient then I can be:)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes that’s exactly it. I do think I should have said something. It was a swirling around in my head. First thought, nah this guy just wants a ride and bot be bothered. 2nd thought, maybe he’s never heard a word about jesus…yes I’m very glad I’m not in the paper. Lol

      Liked by 2 people

              1. Yes!!! Lol 😂!! She will turn 9 In December but I believe I already lost half my marble😁. My youngest is going to be 3 and she has me runny on empty with in marble department lol!!


  6. I think that it’s always important to start with the friendly act of kindness. Those kinds of acts in itself, is a powerful demonstration of the love of God. These days, those kinds of act are not common; even within the church.

    Like the Bible says, there’s time for everything; God always has a plan. That act of kindness, could have be your part; within God’s ultimate plan to change that heart. The spirit led you to stop, not every situation requires prayer. The act of kindness, could have been all God’s required from you!

    Yikes, loved how you expressed your thoughts! God bless!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh heck no! I do that all the time. And my son too 🙂 Heck, if my son sees a woman walking to the door and he’s behind her he will take off running to open it for her…even if there is a guy with her.

        It’s like the world has forgotten it’s manners…

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I enjoyed reading this and as echoed above, great job. I was once like you, not “knowing a stranger” yet today sadly not so much. Interested in what might be said that would be effective enough to bring a broken soul back to the Lord …

    Liked by 2 people

      1. “at one time”… I can not remember any time of ever being not broken … sad as that may seem. I only feel more broken (if there be such a thing). It touches my heart though that you would think enough of me to embark such a thing. Heartfelt thanks 💔

        Liked by 1 person

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