I was in the grocery store today and discovered after the cashier had processed my groceries that I did not have my wallet with me. I asked him to leave my groceries there while I went home and got my wallet.
The lady standing next to me told the cashier to put my groceries on her bill. I told him not to and that I would just be back in 20 minutes or less. He took the side of the lady who wanted to pay for my groceries and so I walked out a free woman. I say that considering that I was also driving without a license ;-)
The employee is a man I've seen at the store for years and years and he said that many people come up "short" of money and someone behind them pays for it and will not tell their name or phone number or address. He said it had happened to him, too.
I walked with the lady out to the parking lot and found her car parked close to mine. She told me the same thing had happened to her a few days ago and she couldn't find her money. Someone next to her insisted on paying for her groceries. She still would not give me her name.
Being on the receiving end of generosity is not as comfortable to me as being on the giving-end, so I will certainly be alert to what is going on ahead of me at the grocery store, and looking for an opportunity to "repay" the favor by helping someone else.
Thank you for buying my groceries today. I always thought Americans were nice people and I've always felt blessed and spoiled to live here. I hope I can spoil other people, too. As Christians, we believe that giving is a blessing to others that brings more blessings on ourselves which we can continue to pass on to others:
"But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully." 2 Corinthians 9:6
I remember one snowy winter that I had become very concerned about a tree that was blocking my view down the road where I had drive. After several close calls with logging trucks or farm machinery, I decided to cut the tree down. I thought it was on my property, but it turned out to be one of those marker-trees that a farmer puts on the corners of his property. Was the neighboring farmer ever angry when he saw that tree cut down. I did not know at the time that property lines were not exactly what they looked like; that tree really looked like it was on my property.
I was profusely apologetic and offered to plant a new tree but he declined. Eventually the old tree grew up again around the stump, and the branches once again blocked the road from view. I decided not to make a fuss about it this time. I was so glad that tree was still alive and had grown again. Apparently it was a tree planted in memory of the farmer's father, when his father died and passed the farm on to him.
On a very snowy winters day in the morning I saw 2 men with a chainsaw cutting down that tree, right out the front window.For a moment I thought maybe someone was deliberately vandalizing the neighbor's property and I thought how angry the farmer was going to be when he found that tree was once again, chopped down.
I closed the curtains and went to the kitchen for awhile, trying to mind my own business. When I came back to the front door, there was a big pile of firewood stacked on the porch. The farmer had cut the tree down so I could have a safer view of the road when driving out of my driveway. He and his son had then cut it into little logs and stacked it on my front porch, and left, without a word.
A Difficult Question
by George Goodwin Kilburn
There is a quiet organization called the Christian Relief Fund in Amarillo, Texas, that I have, in the past, participated in. Many preachers reported the dismal state of orphanages in various countries of the world. Desperate parents who wanted their children to have food and shelter would leave their children in orphans homes. Many of these children had at least one living parent. Through Christian Relief Fun, our family supported a handicapped girl who lived at home with her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother in the Ukraine. Each month, the local preacher would take the money that we and others sent, and personally distributed it to the families. This provided a way for the children to remain in the care of their mothers and fathers in dire circumstances, and also a chance for the local preacher to offer a Bible lesson and teach them the gospel. Through this, I was able to remain friends with the family for almost 20 years. The little girl is now grown and has been able to afford several surgeries to help her walk. It does not take a lot of American money to support someone like this. I still talk to the mother and her daughter on Skype and we have remained friends. I like this program because you can actually know the family of the child you are supporting, see inside their homes and learn more about them.
Many Americans support people in other parts of the world, in this way. Christians know that life is precious and will do what they can for the handicapped and the hungry. They in turn are greatly blessed at home because of these efforts.