A few weeks ago I was at my favorite local, hometown coffee shop, Beans. As I was walking in, I noticed a woman pushing a man in a wheel chair. Now this man was an older man, and he was not the happiest, but rather he was very grumpy. And he couldn’t make up his mind. He wanted to go inside, but there’s a step into the coffee shop, so then he didn’t want to sit outside, but then told the woman to push him up to a table. Immediately, I felt bad for this poor woman. You could just tell by the gestures and expression on her face that this was very frustrating to her. As I walked in and waited in line to order my chai tea, she jumped in line behind me, finally able to leave the man in the wheel chair to slip in and grab some lunch. I smiled at her, hoping it would make her feel a little better.
While we were waiting, she asked me what on the menu was good. Me, being the coffee drinker I am, started listing off all the drinks I have had there. She actually meant, what types of food were good there. I looked up at the menu and read a few sandwiches off that I thought sounded good. She began making small conversation with me about my hometown and what it was like growing up there. I told her how I liked it and how wonderful of a town it was. As I approached the counter to order my chai tea, I felt a prompt by the Holy Spirit to add this woman’s order to mine and bless her by paying for her lunch. When the cashier asked me if that was it for my order, without hesitation, I took a step aside and told the woman that I was going to pay for her meal today. She said “seriously”? I said I am serious, go ahead and get whatever you would like. She ordered her lunch and my total came to about $13. I gave the cashier my card to pay, but it didn’t work. I tried my other card, it didn’t work either. Embarrassed, I fumbled around in my purse trying to find a wad of singles I had just found while tidying up my car before coming in to the coffee shop. I took it out, counted it, and it was actually $13. I was in awe of what God had just done.
Meanwhile, someone had helped bring the gentleman in the wheel chair into the coffee shop so he could sit inside. The woman went to go set her stuff down by him and came back. She thanked me and told me her name and then proceeded to say “You know, you don’t see nice people like you very often anymore. It’s nice to see that there is still some good in this world. It’s nice to see that people still care and love. Thank you, I will have to remember to pay it forward.”
Now, it wasn’t the miracle God worked with simply paying for the meal, it wasn’t even the “paying it forward”, it was the part about “love” that made me intrigued by what the Holy Spirit had just shown me by paying for a complete strangers meal. He revealed to me that I can show love to anyone. It doesn’t have to be someone I know, it can be a complete stranger. One of the biggest examples is Jesus. He didn’t just throw love around like a four letter word, but He used it to show strangers who God is. In the same way, we can do that.