A man’s man with a farm in Bremen, Georgia, was enjoying his lunch when he was stopped mid-meal by the sight of a rough-looking stranger right outside his window. After watching him for a brief moment to see what he was doing, the cowboy acted fast when he realized what was going on. Now, this man will never be the same.
Johnny Cook lives on a peaceful farm property, which he works hard for, and he takes pride in his slice of the southern countryside. While on the search for additional farmhands to help with a landscaping project that he needed to be done, he quickly advertised what he was looking for. However, even with the word out, he didn’t get the response that he had hoped.
Resolving to just do the work himself with the help of his two sons, he drove into town to get the materials for the task. While running errands, he stopped for some lunch at the Waffle House. As Cook and his two sons were sitting inside, they noticed a scrappy man approaching the restaurant.
The man with the thuggish appearance stopped just short of the door and took a seat on the sidewalk. He was filthy, covered from head-to-toe in tattoos, much to the disgust of other Waffle House patrons who were bothered by him hanging out near the door.
Johnny Cook overheard their complaints, but before they could finish criticizing this transient, the cowboy tapped on the window to get the guy’s attention. Using hand gestures, Cook asked him if he was hungry to which the hitchhiker responded with a “yes.”
Cook signaled for the man to come inside and then told him to order whatever he wanted from the menu, letting him know that he would take care of the bill. After a little shyness, he ordered a meal and sat down alone, but what he did next took Cook by complete surprise.
Despite not having eaten in days, the transient didn’t immediately dig into his food — he stopped and prayed first. Cook then struck up a conversation with him and found out that he hadn’t always been homeless, having fallen on hard times got him there, but his faith was keeping him going. He said that all he wanted to do was work, but he couldn’t because his appearance gets him turned down for every job.
That’s when the hard-working cowboy told the tattoo-covered man to meet him back at this restaurant at 7:45 the following morning if he really wanted to work. The tattooed transient agreed to it, saying that he’s been sleeping on church porches and praying to God for work and food and that the Lord had led him to that Waffle House, telling him to wait there.
Cook was an answer to his prayers, providing him both a warm meal and work. Holding true to his word, he was at the Waffle House the following morning when Cook’s sons picked him up and brought him back to the farm, where he was paid to work all day in the blistering heat, laying sod. Even though it was a job that he didn’t know how to do, he immediately learned and didn’t quit until all 10 pallets of grass were put down, according to Love What Matters.
“He worked his heart out and was proud of what we had accomplished. I paid him and took him to a local motel, where he can stay the night and I’ll pick him up again tomorrow,” Johnny Cook explained in a social media post in hopes of spreading the message for other not to judge someone by their appearance.
It was well received with many sharing similar experience, including one woman who even posted a photo of her own tattoo-covered husband along with describing the judgment he often faces due to his appearance. “That is amazing!! My husband too is covered in tattoos And gets judged everywhere we go. He gets followed in stores and given ‘looks’!” Niki Tellechea began.
“Little do these people know he has been on the right path now for over 11 years and he leads a group for people in recovery. He also attends church weekly where he is seen as a leader! He is a hard working ironworker and has a wife and 4 kids. I am so proud of my husband and who he is!” she continued. “Thank you for not judging based on the tattoos or anything else for that matter! You are awesome and I respect you! I pray the world has way more people like you out there that will step up.”
This guy, who just happened to catch Johnny Cook’s eye, wasn’t looking for a handout. He was praying for a leg up and faithfully waited for that opportunity. While he could have fallen victim to the assumptions that others had of him and lived a life of crime to “fix” his situation, he knows that true happiness only comes when faith is combined with hard work. And for that, he was greatly rewarded when he was sent an angel in the form of a tough as nails, no-nonsense cowboy who happened to be the exact miracle that the man had prayed to receive.