Pulling up to the pumps on my usual early morning trip to work, I realized halfway through the fill I had my purse but no wallet. I quickly told the attendant to stop but he had already finished. I headed inside and lamented to the lady dressed in her gas station uniform behind the counter. She assured me there was no problem to pay later with the stipulation of leaving my phone behind the counter for a short siesta till I was back with payment.
I wasn’t thrilled about leaving my “life” behind the counter but I quickly knew I had no choice. During my conversation with the attendant I heard a quiet voice directly behind me say,
“I’ll pay for it… put it on my card.”
I turned abruptly, my eyes meeting the gaze of a young man, 20-ish or so, staring intently back at me.
“Really?? Thank you!!”
I managed in a louder voice than I had intended in my surprise. A slight smile tugged at his lip shyly as I asked his name and said,
“I’ll pay it forward!!”
all in one breath it seemed.
Randall the “Good Samaritan” asked my name as I generously shook his hand much to the enjoyment of a group of customers standing in various places in the small store grinning from ear-to-ear in response to what they were witnessing.
A sigh of relief exhaled from my chest as I held my cell phone tight as it was now not going for a stay behind the counter, but even more than that, my heart was blessed by this stranger in the moment.
Arriving home later that day, thinking I’d find my wallet in my other purse, my stomach sank as I realized quickly it was not to be the case. My mind then quickly remember the last time I’d seen it… in a shopping cart… on a Walmart parking lot. I frantically made some calls thinking none of this would really actually matter. A wallet in an open cart.. cash, credit card, debit card, old pictures I could never replace,the wallet being a personal gift from my sister in Palm springs.
As I headed into the store, my heart sank as I didn’t seem to have much faith at all but I sent a quick prayer just the same to calm my stomach. As I proceeded to ask for and describe a wallet that I was sure was a lost cause, the lady behind the counter interrupted my chain of descriptions and enthusiastically said,
“Just a minute… I’ll have to get it from the safe… someone has turned it in!”
and then she looked at me intently with a satisfied grin crossing her face and said,
“And someone was taking care of you.”
I could have kissed her! but knowing I did have the discipline somewhere inside of my excited self, I refrained and simply replied enthusiastically
After experiencing those two acts of pay it forward that day, I realize there are still good people in this world whether they are right behind you willing to help you in time of need or the unknown someone who turns in your “life” with honesty.
But more than that, there is the ONE who always watches… watches out for me… watches out for you… and sends his blessings through those who may be willing.
Many years ago I had seen the movie Pay it Forward. I loved the scene at the end of the movie, as sad as it was, where the young boy who had started the pay it forward movement before getting sick ,was already so sick and dying in his bed at home.
But when he looked out the window with his mother, rows of headlights miles long were traveling along the long and winding road to come see him one last time in the dead of the dark in response to his paying it forward.
The ONE who always watches over me and always watches over you, originated the ultimate pay it forward some 2000 years ago at the cross.
If a simple pay it forward makes your your heart smile today like it did mine and gets you through the day in this not so perfect and often cruel world, what kind of day…week…life will you have when you experience the ultimate original pay it forward?
He gave us the keys to Life Everlasting to a beautiful city, so bright.. so glorious.. so perfect..and an inheritance to trump all inheritances. No more sickness, no more death! And so much more!
So how do we ever match a pay it forward such as this from a selfless gift like that??
We can’t. EVER.
Yet our response to HIS Ultimate gift, how we share the act of this unmatchable…indescribable gift, is to pay it forward. We can never pay forward what He has done but living a life walking in this gift is the beginning of a best pay it forward ever.
It makes His heart smile wide.
We may never see this side of Heaven the row of headlights winding down the road in the dark of night responding to our pay it forward.
But today..and the next… and the next,
give someones heart a reason to smile wider than ever and live out The ultimate gift you have been given… and pay it forward in response to the
ultimate pay it forward.♥️