While waiting in line to pick up some items at the craft store yesterday, Ellie saw a display of Easter candy. She commented on how she’s never seen the purple-colored version of the candy before and asked if she could have some. An older lady in front of us overheard what Ellie said, turned around and said, “Oh, she really wants that candy!!!” Not thinking much of it, I told Ellie, “Easter candy already?! It’s not even Valentine’s.” Quite innocently she said, “Well, can we get it for Easter?” Before I could even respond, the lady said to Ellie, “Well, if it’s alright with your mom, I’d like to get that candy for you.”
We were both in shock. I thanked the lady for her generosity but kindly refused.
She then said, “I’m a grandmother and have grandchildren, I’d like to get that candy for her if it’s okay with you.” So, I turned to Ellie and told her she could pick out the one that she liked but she needed to share it with others. To which the lady responded, “Why don’t you go ahead and pick out another one; it’s easier to share that way.”
We were just completely floored and thanked the lady for her kindness.
I didn’t know people like this still existed. When all you see in the news is how selfish and evil people are, it’s hard to believe good still exists in the world.
When we got in the car, Ellie and I talked about what just happened. I told her never to forget this moment. Since she had been treated with such kindness, from a complete stranger no less, it was now her turn to pay it forward. She needed to treat someone with the same kindness that she had been treated with.
Ellie agreed and she said, “Mom, I didn’t even do anything to deserve that candy.”
I told her that that’s the same way with God’s grace. We don’t deserve God’s grace, but just like this lady, He freely gives it to us. We don’t earn it or try to work for it, but He blesses us anyway.
So, I asked her, “What did you learn from this?”
She replied, “God provides.”
And that He does. God provides in some of the most unexpected ways. He blesses us beyond our comprehension and He gives us good things that we don’t deserve (even if they are full of sugar and artificial food coloring!).
What an amazing display of kindness and grace. I’m so thankful for this lady. It provided a great example for my 8-year-old to see kindness and grace in such a tangible way. I don’t think she will ever forget it…and neither will I.
So, if you have a chance to pay it forward to someone today, know that it won’t be lost or forgotten. Perhaps we can be the good in the world and not just show kindness and grace to each other but also be the teachable moment for future generations to see what it means to pay it forward.
*** One of the other things Ellie said she learned from this was not to “whine in line”. I also like that life lesson, too! ***