PDT Staff Writer
Ever have one of those unexpected things happen to you that makes you think, and even challenges you? That’s what happened to me last Tuesday morning. I was standing in line at Tim Horton’s, and when I placed my order, the woman who waited on me told me my order had already been paid for by the woman ahead of me.
I approached the woman and thanked her, then asked her why.
“I believe in paying forward,” she said matter-of-factly.
I went over and sat down with Richie Purdy, and I am sure I seemed kind of in a daze - not because someone did something nice for me, but because I considered it a moral challenge, and I had to figure out how I was going to pay forward. She really gave me something to think about. She may not know it, but she did me a huge favor in addition to buying my coffee.
I was challenged and felt a need to pass the random act of kindness on to someone else. Within minutes my wife called me to tell me she was going to help a family in need financially. That just gave me more fuel for thought.
Sacrificing for others is not just a nice gesture. It is expected - our reasonable service if you will. Isaiah 58 says, “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter; when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.”
If everyone would just set aside a few dollars and pay for someone else’s breakfast or lunch or dinner, and not because we want it to come back to us eventually, but because it is the right thing to do, think of how that chain could stretch around the world.
Know someone working at a minimum wage job, having a hard time making ends meet? How about buying them a gas card or a gift card to a nice restaurant, or even a gift card from a super market? There are food pantries that are constantly in need of donations. There are students who don’t even have a coat or gloves, something Mark and Virgie Hunter have a first-hand knowledge about. Do you know someone who has fallen through the cracks of our entitlement society? They are our responsibility.
Cain asked maybe the most poignant question of all time - “Am I my brother’s keeper?” The answer to that question is unquestionably “yes.” Pay forward, and you will never be behind in blessings.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at firstname.lastname@example.org