CHRISTMAS AT A GAS STATION
The old man sat in his gas station on a cold Christmas Eve. He hadn't
been anywhere in years since his wife had passed away. It was just
another day to him. He didn't hate Christmas, just couldn't find a
reason to celebrate. He was sitting there looking at the snow that had
been falling for the last hour and wondering what it was all about
when the door opened and a homeless man stepped through.
Instead of throwing the man out, Old George as he was known by his
customers, told the man to come and sit by the heater and warm up.
"Thank you, but I don't mean to intrude," said the stranger. "I see
you're busy, I'll just go."
"Not without something hot in your belly." George said.
He turned and opened a wide mouth Thermos and handed it to the
stranger. "It ain't much, but it's hot and tasty. Stew ... Made it
myself. When you're done, there's coffee and it's fresh."
Just at that moment he heard the "ding" of the driveway bell. "Excuse
me, be right back," George said. There in the driveway was an old '53
Chevy. Steam was rolling out of the front.. The driver was panicked.
"Mister can you help me!" said the driver, with a deep Spanish accent.
"My wife is with child and my car is broken." George opened the hood.
It was bad. The block looked cracked from the cold, the car was dead.
"You ain't going in this thing," George said as he turned away.
"But Mister, please help ..." The door of the office closed behind
George as he went inside. He went to the office wall and got the keys
to his old truck, and went back outside. He walked around the
building, opened the garage, started the truck and drove it around to
where the couple was waiting. "Here, take my truck," he said. "She
ain't the best thing you ever looked at, but she runs real good."
George helped put the woman in the truck and watched as it sped off
into the night. He turned and walked back inside the office. "Glad I
gave 'em the truck, their tires were shot too. That 'ol truck has
brand new ." George thought he was talking to the stranger, but the
man had gone. The Thermos was on the desk, empty, with a used coffee
cup beside it. "Well, at least he got something in his belly," George
George went back outside to see if the old Chevy would start. It
cranked slowly, but it started. He pulled it into the garage where the
truck had been. He thought he would tinker with it for something to
do. Christmas Eve meant no customers. He discovered the the block
hadn't cracked, it was just the bottom hose on the radiator. "Well,
shoot, I can fix this," he said to himself. So he put a new one on.
"Those tires ain't gonna get 'em through the winter either." He took
the snow treads off of his wife's old Lincoln. They were like new and
he wasn't going to drive the car anyway.
As he was working, he heard shots being fired. He ran outside and
beside a police car an officer lay on the cold ground. Bleeding from
the left shoulder, the officer moaned, "Please help me."
George helped the officer inside as he remembered the training he had
received in the Army as a medic. He knew the wound needed attention.
"Pressure to stop the bleeding," he thought. The uniform company had
been there that morning and had left clean shop towels. He used those
and duct tape to bind the wound. "Hey, they say duct tape can fix
anythin'," he said, trying to make the policeman feel at ease.
"Something for pain," George thought. All he had was the pills he used
for his back. "These ought to work." He put some water in a cup and
gave the policeman the pills. "You hang in there, I'm going to get you
The phone was dead. "Maybe I can get one of your buddies on that there
talk box out in your car." He went out only to find that a bullet had
gone into the dashboard destroying the two way radio.
He went back in to find the policeman sitting up. "Thanks," said the
officer. "You could have left me there. The guy that shot me is still
in the area."
George sat down beside him, "I would never leave an injured man in the
Army and I ain't gonna leave you." George pulled back the bandage to
check for bleeding. "Looks worse than what it is. Bullet passed right
through 'ya. Good thing it missed the important stuff though. I think
with time your gonna be right as rain."
George got up and poured a cup of coffee. "How do you take it?" he asked.
"None for me," said the officer..
"Oh, yer gonna drink this. Best in the city. Too bad I ain't got no
donuts." The officer laughed and winced at the same time.
The front door of the office flew open. In burst a young man with a
gun. "Give me all your cash! Do it now!" the young man yelled. His
hand was shaking and George could tell that he had never done anything
like this before.
"That's the guy that shot me!" exclaimed the officer.
"Son, why are you doing this?" asked George, "You need to put the
cannon away. Somebody else might get hurt."
The young man was confused. "Shut up old man, or I'll shoot you, too.
Now give me the cash!"
The cop was reaching for his gun. "Put that thing away," George said
to the cop, "we got one too many in here now."
He turned his attention to the young man. "Son, it's Christmas Eve. If
you need money, well then, here. It ain't much but it's all I got. Now
put that pea shooter away."
George pulled $150 out of his pocket and handed it to the young man,
reaching for the barrel of the gun at the same time. The young man
released his grip on the gun, fell to his knees and began to cry. "I'm
not very good at this am I? All I wanted was to buy something for my
wife and son," he went on. "I've lost my job, my rent is due, my car
got repossessed last week."
George handed the gun to the cop. "Son, we all get in a bit of squeeze
now and then. The road gets hard sometimes, but we make it through the
best we can."
He got the young man to his feet, and sat him down on a chair across
from the cop. "Sometimes we do stupid things." George handed the young
man a cup of coffee. "Bein' stupid is one of the things that makes us
human. Comin' in here with a gun ain't the answer. Now sit there and
get warm and we'll sort this thing out."
The young man had stopped crying. He looked over to the cop. "Sorry I
shot you. It just went off. I'm sorry officer."
"Shut up and drink your coffee " the cop said.
George could hear the sounds of sirens outside. A police car and an
ambulance skidded to a halt. Two cops came through the door, guns
drawn. "Chuck! You ok?" one of the cops asked the wounded officer.
"Not bad for a guy who took a bullet. How did you find me?"
"GPS locator in the car. Best thing since sliced bread. Who did this?"
the other cop asked as he approached the young man.
Chuck answered him, "I don't know. The guy ran off into the dark. Just
dropped his gun and ran."
George and the young man both looked puzzled at each other.
"That guy work here?" the wounded cop continued.
"Yep," George said, "just hired him this morning. Boy lost his job."
The paramedics came in and loaded Chuck onto the stretcher. The young
man leaned over the wounded cop and whispered, "Why?"
Chuck just said, "Merry Christmas boy ... and you too, George, and
thanks for everything."
"Well, looks like you got one doozy of a break there. That ought to
solve some of your problems."
George went into the back room and came out with a box. He pulled out
a ring box. "Here you go, something for the little woman. I don't
think Martha would mind. She said it would come in handy some day."
The young man looked inside to see the biggest diamond ring he ever
saw. "I can't take this," said the young man. "It means something to
"And now it means something to you," replied George. "I got my
memories. That's all I need."
George reached into the box again. An airplane, a car and a truck
appeared next. They were toys that the oil company had left for him to
sell. "Here's something for that little man of yours."
The young man began to cry again as he handed back the $150 that the
old man had handed him earlier.
"And what are you supposed to buy Christmas dinner with? You keep that
too," George said. "Now git home to your family."
The young man turned with tears streaming down his face. "I'll be here
in the morning for work, if that job offer is still good."
"Nope. I'm closed Christmas day," George said. "See ya the day after."
George turned around to find that the stranger had returned. "Where'd
you come from? I thought you left?"
"I have been here. I have always been here," said the stranger. "You
say you don't celebrate Christmas. Why?"
"Well, after my wife passed away, I just couldn't see what all the
bother was. Puttin' up a tree and all seemed a waste of a good pine
tree. Bakin' cookies like I used to with Martha just wasn't the same
by myself and besides I was gettin' a little chubby."
The stranger put his hand on George's shoulder. "But you do celebrate
the holiday, George. You gave me food and drink and warmed me when I
was cold and hungry. The woman with child will bear a son and he will
become a great doctor.
The policeman you helped will go on to save 19 people from being
killed by terrorists. The young man who tried to rob you will make you
a rich man and not take any for himself. "That is the spirit of the
season and you keep it as good as any man."
George was taken aback by all this stranger had said. "And how do you
know all this?" asked the old man.
"Trust me, George. I have the inside track on this sort of thing. And
when your days are done you will be with Martha again."
The stranger moved toward the door. "If you will excuse me, George, I
have to go now. I have to go home where there is a big celebration
George watched as the old leather jacket and the torn pants that the
stranger was wearing turned into a white robe. A golden light began to
fill the room.
"You see, George ... it's My birthday. Merry Christmas."
George fell to his knees and replied, "Happy Birthday, Lord Jesus"
This story is better than any greeting card.
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND GOD BLESS!
Now clear the lump from your throat, blow your nose, and send this
along to a friend of yours or someone who may need a reminder as to
why we celebrate Christmas.
Nice. Thank you.
That is a great story Rob. Thanks for posting it. Best regards, and Merry Christmas to all Forum Members. John
Merry Christmas Ford forum friends. Thank you Rob.
Thanks Rob, wonderful story. Merry Christmas to you and to all Forum readers.
It really could be true - if only there were more Georges and Chucks in the world .......
Thanks for posting the story. It reminds me a lot of one of my favorite movies “It’s a Wonderful Life” which we often watched every Christmas as our kids were growing up. That movie is based on the story “The Gift” which was written by Phillip Van Doren Stern, the same author of “Tin Lizzie” -- one of my all time favorite Model T Books [available used from Amzaon.com etc. ].
I believe each of us also have opportunities to make things a little better or a little worse for ourselves and others. The choice is ours – by what we say and do. And I believe each of us has the opportunity to explore “is there a God or not” and to choose how we will respond to that exploration. I know in my own life when I pondered the question “Is there a God and if so what type of relationship do I want to have with God?” it changed the direction of my life. It gradually went from being “its all about me” to “I’m here for a purpose and I need to discover and embrace God and his purpose for my life.” Like water pumps, band linings, type of oil etc. many folks have varying experiences and beliefs. And I respect each of you and the choices you have made. But if anyone would like additional information on my faith story, please drop me a PM (private message) and I’ll gladly discuss it with you via e-mail and/or phone.
Again, thanks Rob for posting the story. And Merry Christmas to all of you and Happy Touring in the New Year!
Hap l9l5 cut off
I agree Hap. It does remind me of "It's a wonderful life".