The Story of a Good Samaritan: About 15 years ago, I got a call from the State Environmental people… about 2 days before Christmas… telling me to send them a check for $25,000.00. Ouch…what a Christmas present that was.
So… here’s the story… I had built a motel on a former gasoline station site… and somehow, after I had sold it, it was determined there was some environmental issues on the property. The people I had sold it to were wanting to refinance it, and the bank required an environmental survey. That opened up a can of worms.
While I was no-longer the owner of the property, the Government said I was responsible, as I had passed up an opportunity for the Super-Fund to pay for the environmental restoration. Under the terms of the Super-Fund, the owner paid the first $25K. The State Environmental Agency had determined that I was the responsible party.
I argued that I was no longer the property owner, as I had sold it more than a year earlier. I won. The government went back on the National Oil Company, whom I had bought the station site from, and they showed the government a BILL-of-SALE where I had taken title to the underground tanks (which had leaked). In effect… the National Oil Company had knowingly sold me an environmental disaster. So, then… I lost. I appealed… and lost again. That $25K getting further out of my control.
I discovered that the Bill of Sale where I had accepted ownership was signed with my name… but wait… it was not my signature; seemingly, a forgery. I appealed, and the Oil Company lost. They appealed, and I lost. This was getting crazy by the moment.
A few months later, after a number of appeals (losing them all), I got a call from an out-of-state engineering firm, specializing in environmental issues….who was seeking new business in the area. Their representative asked if there was anything they could work on for me. So, I told this perfect stranger my story. “Let me see what I can do to help you,” he said.
Several weeks later, he called and said, the Oil Company had lost. W-O-W… how did that happen and what did I owe his company for saving me $25K? He answered, “Well, I just explained things to them in a language they understood, and they reversed their ruling. And, he added… “You don’t owe me anything; I’m doing it as a Good Samaritan.” I had WON!! W-O-W!! Thanks be to God…and this “Good Samaritan.”
The moral of the story is this: Good things happen when you least expect it, from people whom you least expect. The end of the story is this: Never… never ever…. give up.
Psalm 84:11 – For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.” – Proverbs 25:26 – Like a muddied spring or a polluted fountain is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.