10.09.2014

Day 9: Pay It Forward

A couple of months ago, there was a story in the news about a record breaking "pay it forward" chain at a Starbucks drive through. The thought of paying it forward in that way, in actually paying for the person behind you had definitely crossed my mind before, but it was something that I was probably a bit too afraid to do. Too fearful of what others around might think of me if I stuck my neck out for my neighbor.

**
Background source
Even though I'm technically a full time stay at home mom right now, I still try to get a few hours when I can practicing as a Speech-Language Pathologist. This usually happens on the weekend, and as a means to get out of the house before the kids get up (which would invariably end up delaying my start to the day at least another hour), I tend to get up with the sun and get straight to work.

Fortunately for me, this often means I grab a nice hot chicken biscuit from my favorite drive-through on the way. Because why not?

One early Saturday morning in particular, there happened to be a line in the drive through despite it being 6:30 am.  Behind me was a couple in a minivan. They looked worn out, and something struck me so suddenly, I almost hit the car in front of me.

Pay for their breakfast.

I shook my head and tears immediately came to my eyes, because there was no reason for me to have this thought. It was so overwhelming and consuming that I actually feared looking in the rearview mirror; I thought for sure they knew what was going on in my car.

Pay for their breakfast.

Now, I had a five dollar bill, a handful of ones, and a bit of change in my car. Well, Lord, I thought, I'll ask, but there's no way I'll have enough cash on hand to pay for their meal. Even as I pulled up to the window, I had no doubt the cashier would either deny me or call me crazy. With that, I was convinced I wouldn't have enough cash, which would of course mean I would then have to drive away with my tail between my legs.

I will never forget the boy's face.  Blond hair, blue eyes. Smile broad across his face.

"Wait, you want to what?"

In disbelief that I had actually muttered the words aloud, I had to repeat them.

"I'd like to pay for their meal? The couple behind me? I'm not sure if I have enough, but I'd like to give you what I can."

He stared at me for what seemed like an eternity.

"Well, Ok. Wait. Hold on. You really want to pay for someone else? Are you sure? I can't believe this. I mean it's awesome. But I can't believe this. Hold on."

I wanted to take him by the shoulders, and say YES! PLEASE! YOU'RE KILLING ME! I AM SO FAR OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE I ACTUALLY FEEL LIKE I'M DYING. PLEASE!

But I didn't. Because that would have been off color and completely beside the point.

And then it hit me. The blessing wasn't just for the couple behind me, or even for me. This sweet boy. What if obeying God at His word changed the way this boy sees strangers and how he gives to others? He gave me the total with tears in his eyes.

"Eleven dollars and 97 cents."

I looked down. I had exact change.

**

Have you done this? Is this easy for you? That's amazing, and I pray for your courage and strength. But listen. A smile I can do. I can even offer a few words of encouragement. But to outwardly and forwardly offer someone something they didn't ask for? To anonymously bless someone out in public, without the computer screen shielding me from the needs of our brothers and sisters? That terrifies me. I have a feeling that some of you feel the same way. That you want to do the right thing, the righteous thing, but the act of putting your neck out there is utterly terrifying.

In Luke 6:38, Jesus tells us this: "Give, and it will be given to you; a good measure -- pressed down, shaken together, and running over -- will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you."

In other words, generosity multiplies generosity.

Encouragement and generosity aren't necessarily about an end goal, or a meeting one specific need. Sharing yourself, whether it's in the form of a random meal or sharing your heart with the stranger sitting next to you on the train, starts something. It starts something, and we're never sure of the end result because it continues to multiply over and over and over again.

Today? Start the trend. Make the first move. You never know where you'll end up, or who you'll meet along the way.

xoxo, k.

Need more inspiration today? Head on over to Inspire Me Mondays to get your fill!

17 comments:

  1. That makes me smile!! It's amazing what God can do through the small actions in our lives, the little, everyday sort of things. And how that impacts those around us (whether we know it or not)! :)

    Visiting from #write31days :D http://faithmustardseed.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so happy to have made you smile! Thanks for reading today :)

      Delete
    2. I found my way here through the Inspire Me Monday link up...and it made me smile all over again! :)

      Delete
  2. Wow! Our local radio station promotes this, but it seems mostly like a promotion for THEM. ("Jesus loves you. Listen to ...") Living in a tough, cynical part of the country, I always think that the employee will pocket the money instead of applying it to the next order. I hope that, if the Lord nudges me to pay it forward this way, I would obey Him instead of falling back on my own doubts.

    I'd never thought about how it might affect the employee. Thanks for sharing this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll pray for your obedience, too, Melissa. It was NOT easy. It felt so unnatural! But why? Because of what others might think. Uck! I hate admitting that out loud. So happy to have shared a different perspective... It was such a "God moment."

      Delete
  3. Another wonderful post. [Your children with grow up with the most wonderful example of a Mother!]

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And you just made me all teary eyed. Thank you!

      Delete
  4. Absolutely beautiful and so incredibly inspiring! It's about time someone paid it forward at someplace other than Starbucks ;). What a testimony to doing exactly what God asks--and seeing how he provides the EXACT change. I'm so glad you shared.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And I'm so happy you took the time to read it! It's just amazing to see God's hand in all of this!

      Delete
  5. I love this! I have done this a few times. I like how God moves us out of our comfort zone to fill us in the most unlikely ways. This is absolutely beautiful. I needed to read this today "Encouragement and generosity aren't necessarily about an end goal, or a meeting one specific need." Amen!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Seriously! I think sometimes we get caught up in what our "goal" is, that we miss the journey of it all. Thanks for reading!

      Delete
  6. Wonderful story. I bet the blessing reached farther than you can realize as the cashier & the couple behind you talked about it all day :) So glad to have visited from Inspire Me Monday!

    ReplyDelete
  7. WOW! What an incredible story! If that wasn't a confirmation than what is? I can't believe you are an SLP, that's really cool. My daughter is deaf with cochlear implants so I work with wonderful people like you everyday. Glad I found your blog!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, how I love hearing great stories about other SLPs. We're usually a fun bunch. Happy you found me, too!

      Delete
  8. Love this! It's so fun to see what God does when we step out of our comfort zone. I like to do this kind of thing, but there have been moments when my heart feels like it is pounding out of my chest when doing them. Yet it's so cool to see what God can do with our one little act of kindness. Keep doing it! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Believe me, my heart was pounding! The thing about stepping out of comfort zone, specifically when it is of God's design, I never regret it! Thanks for your encouragement!

      Delete

 
Blog Template By Designer Blogs