A few weeks before, I had been driving along Baseline Blvd. when I came to a stop light by the I-10 freeway in Arizona. I noticed a man with one leg and a primitive crutch, in worn-out clothes, standing at the corner opposite me. He was holding a typical cardboard sign asking for help. As I watched him, I got the feeling that he would be a good candidate for some charity, but he was across the street, and the light was about to change. I made a vow in my mind that if I ever came by that corner again, and if I was in the left lane where he was standing at the corner, and if he were there at the right time, I would give him something.
I rarely came that way, though, so I forgot about my vow. My office was near another freeway off-ramp a couple of miles south of the off-ramp where the one-legged man was standing, and I automatically would take the off-ramp to my office. I had taken the same turn at least one thousand times and could do it in my sleep.
One afternoon, I was driving north on the freeway and pulled over into the slow lane to take my office off-ramp, and suddenly the scenery changed. It took me a second to re-orient myself and figure out where I was, and I realized I was about one-half mile further north on the freeway, along a stretch with lots of electronic billboards.
I was past my off-ramp now and was trying to figure out what had happened. It had never happened to me before in my entire life, but I had read enough religious literature over the years to know such things can happen. There were no other off-ramps until Baseline Blvd. so I kept driving wondering what serious reason there could have been for missing my turn. I couldn’t think of anything at all, and so I shrugged my shoulders and resolved to turn off at Baseline and make a U-turn and go back to the office, where I was originally headed.
As I came down the off-ramp, the light was red, and I was the first car in line in the left-turn lane. As I came to a stop, there was the one-legged man, and he looked at me like he recognized me and hobbled over. I looked at my console, and there was some money sitting there, and I knew, as though I was being told, it was his money – it belonged to him, not me. I rolled down the window and gave it to him, with the usual show of appreciation, and I had a great sense of having served some Holy purpose. I knew something had been completed, and I never saw him again.