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“Pump 3”

April 28, 2012

The young man drives up to “Short Stop Fuel” and parks his beat up 4-door late-model Chevy next to the fuel pump – just as he ran out of gas. The forlorn subject steps out of his car, walks across to the store, and up to the check-out counter. He hands the clerk a debit card and says, “$5.00 on Pump 3.”

The clerk swipes the card and the machine flashes the message “Rejected.” By now there’s a young lady and two men in line behind him. The clerk again swipes the card. And again it comes back “Rejected.” Embarrassed, he takes the card and returns to his gas empty car.

The young lady – who didn’t know the gas-needy man – steps forward to the counter. She lays her items for purchase on the counter. As the clerk is ringing up the charge she says, “I also want you to put $20.00 on Pump 3.”

Acts such as these are a regular event in small town America. Just weeks ago a late night storm dropped tornados onto farms in rural Stafford County. At least six of those farms were totally devastated.

Before the sun had crept above the horizon they arrived. They brought their trucks. They brought their trailers. They brought their food. And they brought their hearts.

It’s just one of the special things about rural America. The good deeds might go unnoticed by many, but they didn’t go unnoticed by the storm ravaged victims, nor the young man on “Pump 3.”

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