Recently I flew to Baton Rouge, Louisiana on business, where I took a taxicab from the airport to my hotel. Upon entering the cab, I immediately noticed a large and well-worn Bible on the driver’s dashboard. I commented concerning the stormy weather I had left in Houston and asked the cab-driver if they had experienced it in Baton Rouge. He responded that he had often wondered about the reason for storms but that he had recently discovered, in one of the Old Testament prophets, that storms are sometimes either punishment or warning from God. One thing led to another and we quickly launched into a delightful discussion about the Savior and our common hope, quoting Scripture back and forth for the next 25 or 30 minutes of our ride together. “You sure do know the Word,” he said to me at one point, to which I honestly and enthusiastically replied, “And so do you!”
I could be mistaken, but I suspect that Mr. Richardson, my 75-year-old African-American cab driver that day, had a limited amount of formal education. Far more importantly, however, he was full of godly wisdom — his heart obviously saturated with the Word of God, an enormous quantity of which he had long since committed to lifelong memory. He liked to visit many different churches, he told me, and he was often asked to lead in prayer. “Before I end a prayer,” he said, “I always add a final statement. ‘Lord,’ I say, ‘before we close, we need to make one more request. Would you come to this place and touch the heart of every person here before you go.” Mr. Richardson also preaches on occasion, he told me, and he never needs to use an outline or notes. I believed him without hesitation.
Interestingly, as we landed in Baton Rouge that evening, the Continental Airline flight attendant had expressed the customary welcome to our destination, to which she added the unusual comment, “And may God bless each one of you!” He certainly blessed me, I later reflected — through one of his ministers strategically-placed as driver of an airport taxicab. I was happy that Mr. Richardson said that our conversation blessed and encouraged him as well.