Once I provided my proof of insurance and car keys to the guy behind the counter, he pointed to the waiting area and said, "Looks like our night watchman has finally woken up." Stretched out on one of the lobby chairs was a beautiful cat that looked right at home.
As I paced the quiet aisles, a bearded gentleman in overalls came in for some pins or fasteners for his well-worn truck parked next to my car. In the front seat waiting patiently for his master's return was the man's dog.
The store clerk showed the guy to the proper drawer where he chose three items for a quarter and as the man prepared to leave he came up to me and pulled out his wallet. He fished inside the billfold until he found a business card.
"May I give this to you?" he asked.
"Sure," I answered.
He went on to explain that he was hard of hearing after working at a place in Garland for over forty years. He immediately took responsibility for his impairment. "It wasn't their fault," he told me. "The manager reminded me every day to wear the ear protection. But I refused, and now I'm paying for it." He laughed, and gave me a kindly smile. I looked at the card and it was for a church in the area. This wasn't your ordinary, everyday kind of church. It was for a biker church.
We began talking and he told me about his love for Jesus, his savior, and told me it was his calling to share the gospel of Christ. He said, "You know, when I sit down with some of my hoodlum friends, they're always surprised at what comes out of my mouth. But I don't have to even think about it, the words just come."
He turned away and asked the same question of another customer that had entered the store for the same reason as me - a car inspection. When she first came in I heard her telling the cat how beautiful he was and that he looked just like her own cat. She reacted indifferently to the man's approach and he went on his way. As he stood outside fixing the tailgate on his beat-up vehicle, I asked if I could take a photo of his dog. He was pleased when I told him that I'd like a photo of him, too.
"Maybe I could be in one of your books," he suggested. It reminded me of Juan the Bell Maker in "Romancing the Stone." So I took his photo and he headed out, happily spreading the good news about his Savior like we're told to do.(Mark 16:15)
I remarked to the other lady in the waiting area, "What a character!" She failed to acknowledge my comment or even look up from her phone where she was busily engaged in her social networking app. I noticed the card he had given her was on the arm of the chair next to the cat.
An old Barbra Streisand song started playing in my head, "People, people who need people are the luckiest people in the world."