A man was driving home one evening, on a two-lane 
country road. Work in this small Midwestern
community, was almost as slow as his beat-up 
Pontiac. But he never quit looking. Ever since
the factory closed, he'd been unemployed, and with 
winter raging on, the chill had finally hit home.  

It was a lonely road.  

Not very many people had a reason to be on it, 
unless they were leaving.  Most of his friends had 
already left.

They had families to feed and dreams to fulfill.  But 
he stayed on. After all, this was where he buried his 
mother and father.  He was born here and he knew 
the country. He could go down this road blind, and 
tell you what was on either side, and with his headlights 
not working, which came in handy.

It was starting to get dark and light snow flurries were 
coming down. He'd better get a move on. You know, 
he almost didn't see the old lady, stranded on the
side of the road. But even in the dim light of day, he 
could see she needed help. So he pulled up in front 
of her Mercedes and got out. His Pontiac was still 
sputtering when he approached her. Even with the 
smile on his face, she was worried.  No one had 
stopped to help for the last hour or so. Was he
going to hurt her? He didn't look safe, he looked poor 
and hungry.  He could see that she was frightened, 
standing out there in the cold.  He knew how she
felt. It was that chill which only fear can put in you. 
He said, "I'm here to help you ma'am. Why don't 
you wait in the car where it's warm?  By the way, 
my name is Bryan."

Well, all she had was a flat tire, but for an old lady, 
that was bad enough. Bryan crawled under the car 
looking for a place to put the jack, skinning his 
knuckles a time or two.  Soon he was able to change 
the tire.

But he had to get dirty and his hands hurt.

As he was tightening up the lug nuts, she rolled down 
the window and began to talk to him. She told him 
that she was from St.Louis and was only just passing 
through. She couldn't thank him enough for coming to 
her aid.

Bryan just smiled as he closed her trunk.  She asked 
him how much she owed him.

Any amount would have been all right with her.  She had 
already imagined all the awful things that could have 
happened had he not stopped. Bryan never thought
twice about the money. This was not a job to him. This 
was helping someone in need, and God knows there 
were plenty who had given him a hand in the past...

He had lived his whole life that way, and it never occurred 
to him to act any other way. He told her that if she really 
wanted to pay him back, the next time she saw someone 
who needed help, she could give that person the assistance 
that they needed, and Bryan added "...and think of me". 

He waited until she started her car and drove off.  It had been 
a cold and depressing day, but he felt good as he headed for 
home, disappearing into the twilight.

A few miles down the road the lady saw a small cafe.  She 
went in to grab a bite to eat, and take the chill off before 
she made the last leg of her trip home.  It was a dingy 
looking restaurant. Outside were two old gas pumps. 
The whole scene was unfamiliar to her. The cash register 
was like the telephone of an out of work actor-it didn't ring 
much.  Her waitress came over and brought a clean towel 
to wipe her wet hair. She had a sweet smile, one that even 
being on her feet for the whole day couldn't erase. 

The lady noticed that the waitress was nearly eight months
pregnant, but she never let the strain and aches change her 
attitude. The old lady wondered how someone who had so 
little could be so giving to a stranger. Then she remembered 

After the lady finished her meal, and the waitress went to get 
change for her hundred dollar bill, the lady slipped right out 
the door. She was gone by the time the waitress came back. 
She wondered where the lady could be, then she noticed 
something written on the napkin under which was 4 $100 
bills. There were tears in her eyes when she read what the 
lady wrote. It said: "You don't owe me anything, I have
been there too.  Somebody once helped me out, the way 
I'm helping you. If you really want to pay me back, here is 
what you do: Do not let this chain of love end with you." 

Well, there were tables to clear, sugar bowls to fill, and 
people to serve, but the waitress made it through another 
day.  That night when she got home from work and climbed 
into bed, she was thinking about the money and what the 
lady had written.  How could the lady have known how much 
she and her husband needed it?  With the baby due next month,
it was going to be hard. She knew how worried her husband 
was, and as he lay sleeping next to her, she gave him a soft 
kiss and whispered soft and low, "Everything's gonna be all 
right; I love you, Bryan." 

Today, I sent you this story, now I am asking you to pass it 
on...Let the Light Shine.  Don't put it under a basket. 
Please pass this on to a friend.