I Thought a Stranger Was Going to Rob Us on Vacation. What He Did Next Changed My Heart.

Never judge someone by their appearance.

A-Gift-From-a-Stranger--Our-Most-Cherished-PhotographVal Jesik/Courtesy Country Magzine

Six years ago, my wife, Liz, and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary. It was a lovely event hosted by our four sons and their families. Many wonderful friends from the past surprised us with best wishes and congratulations.

Our gift to each other was an extended driving trip out west. We drove from Ontario through Manitoba, Saskatchewan and into Alberta, then southward into Glacier National Park in Montana. We continued to Red Lodge, which is the gateway to Yellowstone National Park. It was late spring, and the esteemed Beartooth Highway had opened for the season just weeks before.

There was a great amount of snow remaining alongside the road. The scenery was so impressive that we made numerous stops to record memories with my camera. At roughly the highest point of the highway, we stopped at a lookout so I could capture the amazing vistas, with my wife in the center of my camera lens.

Occasionally vehicles passed by, and at one point we heard a motorcycle in the distance. The driver parked behind our vehicle. As he strode toward us, his only words were, “Give me your camera and get over there with your wife.”

I must sheepishly admit I felt nervous that we might be robbed. He took a picture of us, handed back my camera and rode off amid my awkward mumblings of gratitude. The photo he took is one of the most cherished and prized of our trip.

There is a Bible verse that says man judges by outward appearance, but God judges us by our heart. Should the wonderful gentleman who gave us this memory recognize the circumstances, we would again like to say a heartfelt thank you.

And I’ve learned my lesson not to judge others on their appearances.

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