As I was on my way to McDonald’s after school, I decided to make a pit-stop at the nearby Dollar Tree to pick up a few items for my classroom. The store was buzzing with people, many whom were shopping with their families, picking up a few necessities for the week. After a long day at work, I strolled around the store, leisurely gathering my supplies and eventually placing my items on the conveyor belt.
As I stood in the checkout line, the person in front of me had just rung up $40 worth of groceries for her family. Her three sons each carried an armload of bags, eagerly waiting for their mom to pay. As the woman reached into her purse and pulled out her wallet, she began frantically searching for her credit card. She asked her husband if he had the card, so he began frantically searching his wallet as their sons looked on impatiently. The mother told the cashier that she was unable to pay for the groceries since she was missing her credit card and told the boys that they would have to come back another time to pick up their groceries. At this moment, my heart sank for the woman and her family, so I decided to intervene.
“I’ve got it.” I smiled at the woman and handed the cashier my credit card. “I can’t let you do that,” the woman responded. “Really, it’s no problem,” I told her. At that moment, I swiped my card and signed the receipt. The woman and her family were so grateful – “You are an angel. A guardian angel. I can’t thank you enough for your kindness.” The woman smiled at me, still surprised at what I had just done for her family. “Thank you,” she said one last time as she walked out the door and loaded the groceries into her van. I smiled as I watched her sons excitedly hop in the van and drive off. It felt good to do something kind for someone else.
I had just finished loading my bags into the backseat of my car when I notice the same dark blue van pull back into the parking lot. As I begin to sit down in the driver’s seat, the woman rolls down her window and shouts, “Miss, wait!” So I stop and walk up to her van. She steps out and says, “I would like to repay you.” I reply, “That isn’t necessary. This was something that I wanted to do. My treat.” “But I’d like to repay you somehow… I can come to clean your house. Anything you want.” “Thank you for the offer. I really appreciate it, but honestly, it isn’t necessary.” “I’ve just never had anyone do anything so nice for me like that before. I really would like to repay you somehow.” “All I ask of you is that you pay it forward. Spread kindness to others. That’s how you can repay me.” “You are an angel. I try to be kind and giving to others and do the best that I can…” At that moment I reach over and give her a hug. “It’s just that I don’t have any family around here and I’m doing the best I can to make ends meet.” She begins sobbing. I reassure her, “we’re all doing the best we can. That’s what matters most. What happened in there could’ve happened to anyone. It was just by chance that we happened to be in line next to each other.” She reached over and gave me another hug, “I really can’t thank you enough. You are a kind person. It really means a lot to me what you just did.” “Thank you. I’m glad I could help,” I say as we both part ways and drive off in our cars teary-eyed.
So why am I sharing this story with you right now? Here’s why: God works in mysterious ways. He really is always on your side, providing you with many opportunities to be the best you can be. And to me, one of those ways is to pay it forward. To spread kindness everywhere you go. You never know how it can impact someone’s day…
I hope that you, too, have a blessed day!