The Power of Pay It Forward

There’s no greater satisfaction than helping others who can’t pay you back.  Recently there has been a lot of emphasis on doing random acts of kindness or paying it forward deeds where you do something and ask the person to pass it on.

I like the story of the man who stopped at a convenience store.  He noticed the owner had tears in his eyes and kept looking out the window. He asked what was going on. The owner pointed across the street to a bench and said there was a woman who came there every day. She spent about an hour knitting and waiting.  Buses would come and go, but she never got on one and no one she knew ever got off.

One day, I took her a cup of coffee and had a chat.  Her only son lives a long ways away.  She last saw him 2 years ago when he got on a bus right there.  He’s married now… they have a new child.  She has never met her daughter-in-law or seen her grandchild. She said it helps to come here and knit things for the baby and imagine what their life must be like – tiny apartment… saving money to come home some day… I can’t wait to see them get off the bus right here someday.

This day, the owner was watching the son, the daughter-in-law and small child as they just got off the bus! The look on the woman’s face was one of pure joy!  The owner said, I’ll never forget that look as long as I live.  The man joined the owner in taking in the moment and the joy.

The next day the guy stopped by the store again. He stared at the owner behind the counter. I figured it out last night. He said, You sent the money to the son for the bus tickets, didn’t you?  After a long pause he said, Yes, I sent the money. And I’ll never forget the look on her face as long as I live. It was the best money I ever spent!

In Luke 14 we read: When you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they can’t repay you.  You will be repaid in the resurrection.

Ummm… Pay it forward was Jesus’ idea 2000 years ago!  Figure out some way to bless yourself this week.