The other day, I dropped my friends off at the Frankfurt Hahn Airport, about an hour’s drive from where I live. After driving up to the parking ticket dispenser, I grabbed my ticket from the slot and parked in a handicapped parking spot near the entrance. After my friends unloaded their luggage, we all headed to McDonald’s in the terminal to grab a bite to eat and to spend some more time together before their flight.
We strolled around the tiny airport for a few minutes, but as it got closer for them to go through the security line and move to the waiting area for their flight, I bid them adieu with warm hugs.
Then, I went outside and started up my car, momentarily forgetting that I had a parking ticket to pay for. So, I got out of my car and used my cane to hobble over to the machine to pay for the time I parked. After I put my ticket into the machine, my eyes almost popped out of their sockets when 12.00 Euros popped up on the screen. 12 EUROS!!! I know that I didn’t have 12 Euros, but I didn’t panic. I remembered that I had some change in my wallet and prayed that the change would add at least up to 12 Euros.
Unfortunately, my friends had already checked in, and since they were already past the security check-in, it would be difficult for me to get to them to get some extra Euros if I needed them.
So I stood by the machine and stuck my walking cane underneath one arm as I poured the loose change out of my wallet into one of my hands to count it all out. I hoped that the machine had made a mistake and that my parking fee was actually 2 Euros and not 12.00! But there it was on the screen…waiting impatiently for me to feed it. I could hear the machine screaming at me: 12 EUROS, please!!!!
As I was slowly counting my change, I hadn’t noticed that a young German lady had driven her car up and parked next to mine. She stepped out of her car and came to me to ask me if I needed some help. I answered back to her in German, telling her that I didn’t have enough money but that I had more Euro change in my car which was just a few steps away. She ignored that and looked at the 12.00 Euros prominently displayed on the screen. Then she started to help me count the change in my hand. Thank God I had almost enough, but I was short 1 Euro. Graciously, she quickly pulled out her wallet and handed me 2 Euros. But then she went even one step further. She took all the change from my hand, put all of it in the coin slot for me and watched and waited as the machine counted down my balance: 10, 8, 6 Euros and so forth. Then she deposited her 2 Euros to ultimately pay for my parking fee. After she did that, the machine spit out 50 cents change for her, and my ticket popped out of the slot…paid in full!
I was amazed at kindness of this young woman stopping to help me. Strangely, I never heard her car when she drove up to where I was standing. It was as if she appeared out of thin air. She didn’t have to stop and help me, but she did. But before she left, I had to do something to return her kindness. She saw the relief and gratefulness on my face. I smiled at her and spread my arms out to hug her as that was all I could give to her. So we hugged like two old friends who hadn’t seen each other in a long time. Then she left as quickly as she had come, and I hobbled back to my car.
Today, I remain touched by this one random act of kindness from a total stranger. This encounter is a perfect example of how God sends angels to help us in times of need.