Monday, August 22, 2011

Paying it Forward

Roger and I usually eat out on Sunday’s after church. It is my “day off”. However, I had quite a bit at home I wanted to try to accomplish Sunday afternoon so I ask Rog if we could just run through McDonalds and pick up lunch and take it home, plus I needed a Coke really bad.

He complied.

As we swung through the double drive through, we noticed a pretty red car in the other ordering lane that actually wound up in front of us when we turned the corner to go to the “pay here” window. It had a Missouri tag on it, which isn’t unusual at a McDonalds a half a block from the interstate. We thought nothing of it.

As we pulled up to the window to pay, the young lady told us “It is already taken care of.” I can only imagine the expressions on our faces as we both looked at her and said, “What!??” She said, “Your meal has been paid for.” “By who?” we both asked in unison. She looked at the red car at the pick up window and said, “The lady in that car. She said to tell you ‘Thank you Jesus’.”

Roger’s response was, “But she is from Missouri!” (in other words, she doesn’t even know us!) The little girl grinned and said, “I only know she paid for your meal.”

By this time the red car had pulled away. As we pulled up to the pick up window to get our food, we both strained forward to catch a glimpse of our “gifter” as she turned back onto the road. She looked over at us too, grinned really big and waved; needless to say we both smiled and waved right back.

As we drove off, the obvious question came from Rog, “WHY! Would she do that?”

I remembered a movie we saw years ago called “Pay it Forward” starring Helen Hunt, Kevin Spacey and Haley Joel Osment. The premise was exactly what this lady had done. Do a good deed for someone with no expectation, and simply ask them to “pay it forward”.

As we watched her turn back onto the interstate I told Rog, maybe she wants us to “pay it forward”.

A gentle unexpected kindness from a stranger. Surprising and refreshing. I know how it made us feel, and I’m thinking that if something as simple as a ‘quarter pounder’ with fries and a Coke can make someone’s day, perhaps it should be done more often. I’m now looking forward to the chance to “pay it forward” for someone and hope to get to see the look on the face of the recipient…….I’m sure they will be smiling to.

"Therefore, whatever you want people to do for you, do the same for them, because this summarizes the Law and the Prophets." Matthew 7:12