To the dismay of my body, 2:30am saw me driving to Wal-Mart instead of falling into bed. I wasn’t sleepy and had some needs – stop throwing stones.

The empty parking lot boasted two vehicles: mine and Lindsey’s. Now, I don’t know who Lindsey is yet. All I know is that the woman I walked by en route to the automatic doors became noticeably frustrated with her car when I walked passed. Didn’t think much of it until I came out 20 minutes later pushing the ‘ole cart and, wham, she’s still there – even more noticeably frustrated. She locked her keys in her car, I thought.

Now you’re thinking I walked up to her and offered assistance, right?

Nope. I walked right by. I’m tired – it’s cold – I see that she’s got a phone, so she can call someone – I see that she’s at Wal-Mart, so she can go inside and buy a ha- “Excuse me, do you have a hanger in your truck?” She interrupted my thought process. How rude. “I don’t think so, but I’ll check,” was my unfriendly reply – noticeably lacking a smile.

I didn’t need to check for a hanger. I knew there wasn’t one. I needed to preach to myself – I do that when I know I’m in sin, be it resentment, slothfulness, or apathy. So I spent four minutes digging through nothing in the cab, reciting Scriptures to myself and rebuking the hard-heartedness I currently felt towards helping this woman get her vehicle unlocked.

“Any luck?” she chimed, hopeful. “Naw, I can’t seem to find anything,” I answered. At that moment she turned away and I knew, based on the Southern U.S. Code of Social Interaction, that I was free to leave without being a total jerk.

But no, I didn’t leave. The pastoral service I had rendered myself was starting to kick-in and I put the flesh aside to assist Lindsey.

Brief Note: I wonder if there are any Medieval tales of a knight in shining armor who, upon seeing the damsel trapped in a dragon-guarded castle, rubs his lower-back and thinks, Man, I’m just not feeling it today. Honestly, the most unrealistic part of these tales is the unrelenting chivalry, not the dragons.

We pried and moaned and shivered for at least 40 minutes. Right about the 38th minute I thought, This woman is going to have to call the locksmith. Yes, I was preparing to tell her that. “And abandon her?” Yep.

But as my head rested on the side of the car, eyes closed, I heard a clunk followed by an exhausted squeal. Lindsey rushed over and gave me a big bear hug – at 3:45 am in a cold parking-lot, it was a befitting reward. “What is your name?” “Lindsey.” “Awesome – my name is Will… (awkward pause as I realize that my mental capabilities are practically non-existent) …try to stay warm tonight.”

I saw Christ in three ways early last Thursday morning.

I didn’t want to help Lindsey – in fact, I was going to leave her when it got rough. Christ, on the other hand, is the One Who stays. “Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession on their behalf” (Hebrews 7:25).

I couldn’t ensure Lindsey that we would get her car unlocked – in fact, we were failing except for the stroke-of-luck at the 40th minute. Christ, on the other hand, is the One Who succeeds. “This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day” (John 6:39).

I was comforted by Lindsey’s hug and the struggle we shared for 40 minutes – in fact, come to find out, I was pretty lonely that night. This revelation reminded me of Christ Who satisfies. “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water‘” (John 7:37-38).

So I’m adding “3am Locksmith” to my resume – thank goodness.