Publishers note: The Lowndes County Coroner, Austin Fiveash, is my nephew. Last night, at a family dinner, he relayed to us something special that happened to him during the course of the day. His story touched us all, because as a family deeply rooted in Christian values, we believe Austin has the opportunity in his role as County Coroner, to touch our community. Much like the way he did yesterday. Below, is Austin’s story, as shared in his Facebook post on May 23, 2019.
Food for thought.
This morning a young man walked into the Coroners Office. He began to tell me that he was a single father and lived on a nearby street. He told me he was raising his 8 year old daughter and caring for his elderly grandmother alone. He works at a restaurant but reported work had been slow.
I knew where this was going and the urge to rush him off overwhelmed me.
I let him continue his story and he eventually asked for $18.00. He said he was short on his $128 power bill by that much. If not paid today they would cut off the power and he would have reconnect fees. He offered to work for it but I did not have any thing for him to do. I had some cash in the truck and decided to give him the money. Mainly to make him go away. My heart was certainly not in the right place.
I had a 20 and a 10 in cash. I thought if you’re giving him 20 may as well give him the 10 too. I gave him the 30 and he again asked what I needed done to earn it. I told him simply “take care of your family and come see me if you need help in the future.” He thanked me and left. As I watched him walk away I thought “wont see that 30 again and I likely just got scammed. He will probably be drunk by lunch.”
Fast forward an hour.
I went to the gas station to get a drink. I had 2 dollars and some change and after paying for the drink the clerk hands me $1 back. I said “tell you what, just give me a dollar lotto ticket.”
Well, you can probably guess. Won $30. I wasn’t sure if this was a sign or coincidence. So God decided to clear it up.
As I pulled back up to the office there stands my friend from earlier.
Instantly I said “great, he is back for more.” As I approached he told me that while walking to pay his power bill he found 20 dollars on the ground. He was returning my 30. I felt about 3 inches tall. I told him to keep the money and that I appreciated his character. He began to cry and told me he was walking around this morning looking for work and as he past by my office he felt as though I would help him.
He told me he stood outside for 10 minutes rehearsing how to ask for the help. He then asked if he could pray for me. Of course I was not going to say no. He prayed for me and thanked God for crossing our paths this morning.
And to think I was so hardened as to almost have told him to leave, After I just won back the money I gave him. I still felt anger when I saw him back in the parking lot again.
I am not sharing this for praise. Im sharing this for encouragement. To encourage anyone still reading to soften your heart. Look for ways to help others. The Lord taught me a thousand dollar lesson over 30 bucks.
I am the worlds worst about beggars. I can not stand seeing people walk up to folks and ask for change.
But we must spend the time reflecting and critically thinking about things in life. Our views and opinions are not always right. It is not our place to judge anyone or look down on a man trying to keep his lights on. We as people must soften our hearts and allow good things to happen. Slow down and love someone today. Be a blessing to someone else and watch how God blesses you back.
If we continue to walk around with our eyes and heart shut we hurt ourselves the most. Open your eyes, mind, and heart. This whole country is in a mess because of this very thing. Closed eyes, closed minds, and closed hearts. If we want things to change in our lives we must change. We must be open to new ways of thinking and we must take actions we don’t usually take.
We are the only hinderance of God. We keep him from working in our own lives by hard hearts and closed eyes. I’m no priest and will likely sin in about 5 minutes but we are all a work in progress. Lets stop working against ourselves. Let’s start loving. Start helping. Start seeing instead of just looking. I hope this helps at least one person to reflect on themselves and make a positive change in how we interact with each other.
Love you all!