Pay it Forward at the stop light
You know those days where your to-do list is 3 miles long, you're running behind schedule and you seem to hit EVERY red light? Yesterday was one of those days. Seemed nothing I did took less time than it should and most things took twice as long. AAARGH!
Toward the end of the day, when my patience was pretty thin and all I wanted to do was get home and have a nice dinner and relax, I got caught at another light. There was no reason it had to happen, the driver of the car in front of me simply didn't move fast enough. Probably texting. AAARGH!
Then I saw him. A young man with a very large backpack holding a cardboard sign. Hungry & homeless. Please, anything would help. He didn't look that much different than the kids that hung out at my house when my children were teens. A little un-kempt, jeans a little baggy, a smile big as the outdoors.
Well, if you know me at all, you know what I did. I quickly found $3 cash in my glove box (CA keeps a little bit of cash in all our cars for just such occassions!) and put my window down. He came over with such hopefulness and I was so sorry I didn't have more cash.
"God Bless you, ma'am. Thank you so much!"
And then IT happened. Horns started honking and I looked around, ready to raise a little cain if I found out who was giving this kid a hard time. Instead, I saw hands out windows, waving cash. The car in front of me, the one with the kids that took their time and caused me to miss the light, well, all 4 windows went down and each one of those kids handed him some cash. The elderly couple behind me called him back to their car twice. In the turn lane next to me a lady leaned out and shouted, "Over here, honey!" And she handed him some cash. All down the line, people were helping this young man. He was moving fast to keep up! It was amazing!
You know how red lights always seem to last sooooooo long? Not this time. It felt like that red light was too short.
I don't know how much money the young man collected. Hopefully enough to have a few meals, maybe even a place to stay for a night. It was a reminder to me to re-stock my cards for our local homeless shelter. Not everyone will go, but some don't know where it is or how to get in touch with them, so giving them a card along with a few dollars can be a help.
I thought of that young man as I ate my dinner last night. I took a few minutes to thank the Lord that I had a meal, a home. And I asked God to comfort and Bless that young man, help him find his home, wherever that might be. I know God hears and answers prayers, so if you are a prayerful person, I hope you'll remember him, and all of the hungry and homeless in our Country, the next time you pray. And remember to say thanks for all your Blessings.
I do not share my stories of paying it forward for recognition. I share them so that others might be inspired to do what they can, when they can, where they can. No more, no less.