Yesterday was one of those days. You know the ones. I was playing catch up on everything I let go the week before to get ready for the Ladies’ Retreat at Church. I was tired, maybe a little grumpy and less than motivated to get anything around the house done. I start one chore only to notice another and the kids are out early on Wednesday. It didn’t help that as I tried to get to the summit of Mount Washmore, I found a half open package of Nerds in a certain child’s hamper.
Half open… Seriously? Do you know when out of the box these things spread and reproduce. I don’t care how well you sweep, if you spill these you will suddenly step on one for the next year. They were OPEN…
After piano I told the kids about a young service member who is stationed here that recently found out he has a brain tumor. It hits close to home. When we first moved back to Virginia, a young man from our church was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Ray was deployed to Iraq. Our friend passed away before Ray got home. I explained that this young man’s family is staying here to be with him. His parent’s, his sisters, his young nieces and a friend are all here in a hotel. They are hoping to move to the Tripler Fisher house soon. Until then, people are taking snacks and other things to try to help them make their stay more comfortable. We talked about all that as we left piano.
Before we got to the exchange one child was whining that the ride would take to long. Another broke down over our discussion of a homeless lady that is a fixture here. I also distinctly remember thinking to myself that if I wasn’t driving I would update my Facebook status to say, “I am about to knock my child off of her high horse. Look out! It’s going to be a long fall.” This sort of explains where I was at right?
I rushed into the exchange (where us military folks shop) and waited entirely too long at a fast food establishment to get dinner. We found a table, I wolfed my food down and left Arleigh in charge while I quickly grabbed a bag of goodies and a card. Yes, I left my kids at the table. Judge away. It’s very different here.
I was paying for the stuff and probably looked like a crazy person when a young guy approached me. By young, I mean younger than me. He said someone has just purchased Christmas ornaments for his girls in a random act of kindness. He wanted to pay it forward. He had $20 he wanted to put in on whatever I was buying. I smiled and told him why I was buying the stuff and shoving it in a gift bag. His eyes were filling with tears and he said, “There isn’t a coincidence with God.” I was in a bit of a state of shock.
I paid and grabbed the kids because at this point we were VERY late for Wednesday night services. On the way out the door I saw the young man and his family. I walked over and introduced myself to his wife. I explained again why I was doing what I was doing, that I would be taking everything in to my church and no I don’t know the young service member personally. I found out he has four girls. Ages 4,3,2, and 8 months. Yikes! He is enlisted and after someone had done something nice for him, he just really wanted to do something nice for someone else. I asked if they would like to sign the card, after all they were part of it. He did. He carefully thought about what to write and eloquently wrote about the fact that God orchestrates things for a reason. Bless his heart. I grabbed my four and we were out the door.
As I drove to the church building almost a half hour late I thought I’ve missed church to be part of the church. As aggravated as I was just a half hour before it is hard to explain the excitement and joy I was feeling. We’ve been blessed. I really didn’t need that guy’s twenty bucks. I did need the opportunity to pay it forward. I can’t wait to get the chance.