What would you do if you witnessed suffering first-hand? Would you be able to come up with the right words, the right actions, and the right response to make a difference? Most importantly, would you be brave enough to interfere?
A Night Of Suffering
Nicole Heintz was just an average young woman on her way to work on a freezing Minnesota day. She stopped at a gas station — both to refill her tank and get some quiet time before she started a rushed shift — and found a scene she hadn’t expected.
A man, sobbing heartbreakingly and downtrodden, huddled near a gas pump. He wore flip-flops and tattered stockings. Nicole got out of her car and peeked into the vehicle he stood by. Inside, a woman in the front seat sat with her hands over her face in shame while her two daughters cuddled together beneath a blanket in the backseat, trying to stay warm.
An Act Of Human Compassion
His desolate confession, “I can’t even provide for my family”, moved her to action. Nicole reacted out of compassionate instinct: she swiped her card at the pump the man stood near and told him to fill up his car.
“In that same moment his wife got out of her car, she asked her husband what was going on and he told her I just paid for their gas. Her pants were dirty and torn. I asked her to come to my car”, she recalled.
Fortunately for Nicole, a disaster in her trip from California to Minnesota — lost luggage and an impromptu shopping trip to replace her clothing and donate older pieces — turned out to be a blessing in disguise. She told the lady to take whatever she wanted. The woman ran back to get her two daughters, who were also dressed in torn clothing that couldn’t keep them warm. They dug through the bags and layered pieces over their old clothes.
Passing It On
Nicole’s good deed didn’t end there. Her actions brought a crowd of spectators. An older man gave the father his jacket and another gave them a gift card.
Helping others has a domino effect: one good action often compels others who see it to stand up in other situations. The world will not change unless we demand it. We need to take action to make changes. Not because it is newsworthy, but because it is right.