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Just in Case  

While still a tadpole himself, our son Tim liked fishing. Whenever we camped, Tim wanted to fish. But we were not always prepared. With two young kids in a pop-up camper, Diana and I thought we were doing great just to remember the cooler and the clothes, let alone bait for the fish.

One unprepared weekend, we were desperate and asked George—whose trailer was next to ours—if by any chance he had any nightcrawlers we could “borrow.” He did and was only too glad to share.

On another occasion, a fish swallowed Tim’s hook, and we had no extras. Would George have one? Of course. Years rolled by, and we realized that whatever I'd forgotten, George usually stocked—and was kind enough to share: bobbers, weights, worms, whatever.

Only when Tim was grown up did we learn the rest of the story. Diana and I took George and his wife, Julie, out to dinner, and we swapped stories about kids and camping. Eventually, the conversation turned to our many ill-stocked fishing expeditions—and George's routine rescues.

Julie smiled and squeezed her husband's hand, saying, "You know, George stocked up on worms just for you guys. Every week." The man actually bought worms "just in case."

Last weekend, we attended a memorial service for George, and lots of folks shared lots of memories. Me? I’ll never forget the kindness of that quiet friend who seemed determined that our little boy had a good time at the lake.

Know anybody who seems unprepared for the curveball life has thrown their way? They’re hurting, and feeling helpless—maybe even hopeless. I bet you’ve got something they could use: a meal, a hand, a card, a call, a smile.

Better stock up—just in case.

 

A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. 

—Proverbs 11:25

 

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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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