Otis Taylor

Otis Taylor 

Many of us have heard of the TV show hosted by John Quiñones. John uses hidden cameras to observe how ordinary people behave when they’re confronted with dilemmas that require them either to take action or to walk by and mind their own business. 

I’m reminded of a time when I was helping a neighbor and I needed to go to Lowe’s Home Improvement to pick up some supplies. As I was driving down Hooks Street, I noticed a minivan on the side of the road with the hood up. In front of the vehicle stood a middle-aged woman, not well dressed or groomed. I was on a mission and like many cars in front of me I wanted to pass her up and hope someone else would stop and help her. I even said in my head that maybe if she’s still there when I’m done picking up my supplies I will stop. 

But my spirit told me to turn around and stop so I did. She had run out of fuel. She went on to tell me that she was on her way to Orlando after staying at a friend’s house overnight. She had no money and no phone, she was broken down for about 30 minutes and no one stopped to help, not even the one police vehicle that passed her. So, I went and purchased a fuel container and filled it up with gas and brought it back to her vehicle put the fuel in. I gave her enough money to make it to Orlando without running out of fuel again. 

Too often we miss opportunities to do good, to help someone, to change someone’s day. Again, my question to you is, “What would you do?”

What about if you find yourself on the wrong side. I was picking up the weekly bakery and perishables goods from Publix and taking it to the senior center one morning, I’d been doing this for about five years at that time. Every Monday morning at 7 a.m., I drive up to the front of the store go in and roll out two to three grocery carts of baked goods to load into my vehicle. 

At that time, I was parking in the fire lane by the curb down from the front door. I was utilizing the overhang on those raining days. This particular morning as I was loading my vehicle when two Groveland police officers stopped and asked me to move my vehicle from the fire lane. I explained the situation to justify my actions, I told them it takes less than 10 minutes to load my vehicle, the grocery carts were right there. I went on to explain to them that I’m a volunteer picking up the baked goods to help our local senior center. 

They told me that I was parked illegally, and I needed to move my vehicle. At this time my blood was boiling, I continued arguing with them trying to justify my error. Finally, I jumped into my vehicle slammed the door and pulled into a parking space and continued to load my vehicle. Then I looked up and noticed they were going into the cleaners to pick up laundry. And I shouted, is this how you use taxpayer money, you need to do your laundry on your personal time. Once they got into their vehicle and took off, I was immediately convicted by my own conscience. They were gone and I was sure I’d never see them again and my day was destroyed.

I asked the Lord for forgiveness and for Him to help me to make this right. After loading my vehicle, I continued on to the senior center and noticed they were parked on the side of the road. It looked they were setting up for a police sting, but they saw me coming and took off. About a quarter of a mile down the road they got caught by a traffic light. I pulled up next to them rolled my window down they did the same. I said I was so sorry. I was wrong for doing and saying what I did. I asked for their forgiveness. I thanked them for their service and for putting their lives on the line for me. I told them to be safe and have a great day.

You before me, it’s a good motto to live by.  So, what would you do?

Recommended for you