Monday, October 05, 2009

the $20 blessing: part 1

it burned a hole in my to speak. it was actually tucked in my wallet. and it was the only bit of cash that i carried. every time i opened my wallet, i got a glimpse of the green accompanied by a warm fuzzy feeling as i remembered the day i got that $20 bill.

Bubba and i were on our regular "big trip" to Target, stocking up on groceries for the week. the task usually takes me at least an hour, and that's about how long Bubba can stand sitting in the shopping cart. by the time we got to the checkout line, my cart was overflowing and Bubba had had enough. he was squirming, whining, reaching for me, and fighting to get the cart seatbelt off. i shushed him, started putting groceries on the belt, and double checked my stack of coupons.

and then, a man got in line behind me. he had four or five things in one of those little carry baskets. he didn't look like he was in a hurry, but i knew my checkout would take a while. [really, how long does it take? 5 minutes? 10? it can't be that long, but it seems like an eternity sometimes. right? i'm going to time it with my Swatch watch next time.]

seriously, picture it. me with my fussy toddler, 10,000 items in the cart, 25 coupons, some of which the barcode is smudged so the checkout guy has to type in the numbers and over-ride the register, and my own reusable shopping bags. i'm pretty much the last person you want to get behind in line at the grocery store.

but this guy got in line behind me. and now i'm thinking it happened for a reason. maybe he was an angel.

i scooted my cart out of the way and told him, "please, go ahead. i have a lot of groceries and coupons, you only have a couple of things."

him: "no, really, that's okay. i'm not in a hurry."

me: "it's fine, please, this might take a while. i really don't mind!"

him: "okay, thank you very much. you're so kind. thank you. thanks a lot." [i think he said thank you about 10 times.]

he went ahead of me and i continued shushing Bubba and putting my groceries on the belt. the man was gone the next time i looked up.

when the checkout guy gave me my total, before i swiped my card, he handed me a twenty dollar bill. i'm sure i gave him a whattheheckisgoingon face, so he quickly explained that the man that i let go in line ahead of me wanted to thank me by helping pay for some of my groceries. WHAT? have you ever heard of such a thing? i had to look around to see if i was being Punk'd or if this was a very strange dream. the checkout guy continued to tell me that in all his years at Target he's never seen anything like that. [he was only like 25 so that's not a lot of years, but still.] i was beaming, overwhelmed with joy. what a blessing!

i didn't spend the $20 on my groceries. i wanted to do something wonderful with it. this twenty dollar bill had great potential. if it could make me this happy, imagine how happy it will make the next person! it was an act of "pay it forward"ness, and now it was my turn to be a blessing to someone else.

that twenty dollar bill stayed tucked in my wallet for a week. every where i went, i looked for opportunities to pay it forward and bless someone else. i waited and searched, sometimes impatiently. but i knew God was setting up the perfect moment for me to pass along the $20 blessing.

{check back later for the 2nd part of this amazingly true story!}