The traffic was unusually heavy in Troy, AL, on this particular day, but Tara Parker Routzong and her 9-year-old son, Landon, knew it was because many Floridians had fled their homes due to the approach of Hurricane Irma. With thoughts of these evacuees in his mind, Landon noticed that the car in front of them in the Chick-fil-A drive-through had a Florida tag. Assuming that the driver of the car was fleeing the hurricane, Landon told his mother that he wanted them to pay for his meal as an expression of love and good wishes for someone going through a difficult time.
Tara agreed and gave her debit card to Landon. Landon got out of their car and walked up to the driver of the car in front of them and introduced himself. He asked if he could pay for his meal. While the order was being filled, the grateful driver got out of his vehicle and thanked the dynamic duo for their loving-kindness. As suspected, the man had evacuated from Miami due to the hurricane and was on his way to Birmingham to stay with some family members. Tara’s and Landon’s eyes filled with tears as the man expressed his grateful appreciation. Tara told the man that they hoped that when he returned to his home in Miami that he would find it untouched and that they would keep him in their thoughts. *
I’m confident that the recipient of this simple act of loving-kindness will also keep these benefactors in his thoughts for a long, long time.
What a wonderful act of loving-kindness! May we “go and do likewise”! May it also remind us of the greatest act of loving-kindness ever demonstrated:
“At one time we too [and that includes you and me] were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.” (Titus 3:3-7 NIV)
“The kindness and the love of God our Savior appeared” when Jesus went to the cross and died for our sins so that we can be saved and have the hope of eternal life. Jesus didn’t do this because we deserved it because we were so “righteous.” No, we didn’t deserve it at all. We deserve the wages of sin which is death (Romans 6:23).
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 NKJV). He saves us because of His loving mercy.
He will save us when we place our faith and trust in Jesus (See Acts 16:30-31), turn from our sins in repentance (See Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men (See Romans 10:9-10), and are baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of our sins (See Acts 2:38). He will continue to cleanse us from sin as we continue to walk in the light of His Word (See 1 John 1:7).
Jesus’ death on the cross was the greatest act of loving-kindness ever demonstrated. By God’s grace, the salvation and eternal life that Jesus provided through His atoning sacrifice can be ours if we will only accept it on His terms.
David A. Sargent
* From “Hurricane Irma evacuee surprised by Alabama boy’s act of kindness” by Michelle Matthews, posted on al.com on September 12, 2017.
David A. Sargent, Minister