Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Kindness of a Stranger

Last night I made a quick run to the grocery store. I had been feeling sick for most of the afternoon and didn't make a plan for dinner so I had hopes of finding something quick and cheap for that night's meal. I had a $20 bill in pocket and a $5 in my wallet and as we dashed around the store picking up dinner items I was mentally tallying the total in my shopping cart. It came out to about $20 and I thought to myself, "My husband has been such good helper to me and he mentioned that he would really like a rootbeer float the other day. I'm going to surprise him tonight."

So we backtracked through the junkfood aisle and grabbed a liter of 83 cent rootbeer. Then we headed over to the freezer section where I picked up a box of vanilla ice-cream for $2.50. Easily under my $25 limit right? (Insert impending doom music here.)

At the register the total popped up $26.04. Gulp. I looked in my change purse, surely I would have 104 cents in all that change. And I did. Hooray! But then I looked at the bills in my hand. Instead of a twenty and a five I had a twenty and a one. I apologized to the cashier and dug around in my bags for the rootbeer float items and also the container of orange juice I had in my cart.

"I'm so sorry, I thought I had a five, do you mind taking these items off?" The cashier was gracious.

"What's the matter? Are you a little short?" The man behind me asked.

I shrugged, embarrassed, "Yeah, I thought I had more money than I do. But it's only ice-cream. We don't need it."

He pulled out a bill from his wallet and said to the cashier, "I'll take care of that for her."

"Oh, sir! You don't have to! It's nothing we need. Really." I protested.

"No, no. Please let me. I'm happy to do it. Your boys need a treat."

"Sir, this is so generous. You really don't have to."

"I want to. Please let me do this." He grinned at the cashier who was already re-ringing up my items.

I was both humbled and grateful. "Thank you, sir. This is huge."

He nodded and paid the cashier for my little luxuries. For my excess. For treats that were unneeded and undeserved. And he did this in the middle of April. Not at Thanksgiving. Not at Christmas time when tales of generousity run rampant. It was just a quiet little gift to a stranger because he could.

Let me tell you, those rootbeer floats tasted extra sweet last night.

"Heavenly Father, you provide for us in so many ways. For everything we need and for lots of things we don't. Thank you for using a stranger to show kindness to us and allow me to gift my husband with a treat. Please bless our generous stranger and his family and show them your kindness and everlasting love. Amen."

1 comment:

  1. Ah.. it made me cry to read that! How sweet... I just loved reading that story... THANKS so much for sharing!


Linharts love comments!