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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

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 Bryan. 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, and then she noticed something written on
the napkin under which was four $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."