I was having a very crappy day when i walked into the thrift store a few visits ago. It was rainy and raw, I just got some bad news about my job, and I really was just in a deep funk.
It was one of my favorite thrifts, and so, after walking in, I greeted a few familiar faces at the counter and began to mindlessly peruse.
I was snapped out of mindlessness when I found thing after thing that I liked. I hit the jackpot. I found 4 different purses and bags in great condition (the was the same day I found the Lancel bucket bag.) including a vintage black leather Coach Crossbody that I had plans to sell.
I made my way down to the checkout counter where an unfamiliar but very friendly young woman. As she rung me out so heard her gasp. Looking up, I saw she stopped on the vintage Coach. After a few moments of convo, I learned that she collected vintage Coach and a black one was the only one she was missing. As she looked lovingly at the bag, I decided to give it to her. She looked at me in disbelief after I told her she could have it. Seriously. I had to explain it to her a few times before a smile crested her face. She asked me what I wanted. For some reason, the first thing to pop into my mind to tell her were these 3 words: Pay it forward.
I left the store, maybe sans a great vintage find, but with a sense of good done. I made someone happy. I thought of someone else. I had an opportunity to think of someone else, during my own bad day, and left feeling so much better for it.
This isn't a story to boast on me. This is to start a discussion, and hopefully a chain of events that will end up blessing so many. I mean, that's what Jesus did. Jesus paid it forward. On His absolute worst day, He died to repair the broken relationship between our loving but sinless God and us, imperfect yet desparate to be loved human beings.
He could have been selfish. Jesus could have decided that He didn't want to give of Himself, just like I could have decided not to give this woman, whom I didn't know before this moment, the bag she really wanted that was missing from her incomplete collection. But Jesus did give of Himself. In fact, His gift made it easier for me to give that woman the bag without a second thought. And the happiness she expressed (which now, every time I see her, she reminds me and others around what I did for her) is nothing compared to the joy I felt and feel every time I think about that selfless gift Jesus gave to me: love.
And like that woman who tells the staff and other shoppers and anyone around about what I did and how nice it was for her; I am compelled to tell everyone I know about what Jesus has done for me. I may not tell you with words, you may never hear me announce it from a pulpit or in the center of a church, but you will see me telling it in my smile, in my opened hands and opened arms, in the kindness I show, even to people who least "deserve" it, in deeds, in my prayers, and for every day, for the rest of my life; that's how much this gift means to me.
Because, like I told that woman when I gave her that bag as a gift, that's what the love of Jesus has told me, and all believers when He gave His life as a gift for us.
Pay it forward.
Thanks for reading.