Pay It Forward

When I’m worried and I can’t sleep,

I count my blessings instead of sheep

And I fall asleep,

Counting my blessings.

– Irving Berlin  “Count Your Blessings”

I’ve written about five different opening paragraphs for this post, but I can’t seem to come up with what I really mean to say.  I’m sure you all know what “pay it forward” means.  Do something nice.  Pre-pay for the drink behind you in line at Starbucks.  Slip a $20 in the purse of the cart in front of you in line at the grocery store.  Shovel your neighbor’s walk after a snowstorm.  Leave a 2 liter of Coke on a friend’s doorstep with a note that says “Friends don’t let friends drink Pepsi!”  Leave a GIANT tip on a small tab.  Pay for the check of a family or couple at the same diner you’re visiting.  Kidnap a friend’s kid for the entire day and don’t return them until bedtime.

All of these things and more have happened to me.  I always struggle with how to express my gratitude.  This week I helped someone.  I wanted so badly to be anonymous, but alas, the postmark revealed me.  I wanted to be sneaky and mail it in a larger envelope to a friend on the other side of the country and then ask them to mail my help from there, but the need for speed was more pressing than the need for secrecy.

Thank you for letting me benefit from your payments forward.  Thank you for being such good examples to me of the pure love of Christ.  Thank you for loving me with no strings attached.


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