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Paying it Forward: How one simple act of kindness can cause a ripple of love.

Yesterday evening I came home from seeing a movie with a friend and saw a text message from my 19-year-old daughter letting me know how much money she made in tips from her double shift that day. As I sat down to discuss it with my husband he told me she had already been home and had just left. He went on to tell me about what she had just told him about her day.

A couple of days ago, Sam was getting gas at a nearby gas station to her workplace (Pappasitos) and a homeless man in a wheelchair asked her for some change. At the time she did not have any on her but told him she worked nearby and to come and see her on Sunday (yesterday) and she would buy him lunch during her shift.

Well, he did just that.

Here is how the story went as I know it…  The gentleman came in, asked for my daughter and she had him sat in her section where she planned to purchase his meal for him. Her management asked her what was going on since it was somewhat obvious he was homeless, and once she told them what he was there for, offered to comp his meal.

Nearby, a family overheard him thanking her for the meal and telling her that he needed to be somewhere but wasn’t sure how he was going to get there. My daughter explained to them how she had met him and they offered to take him wherever he needed to go.

Meanwhile, another nearby family overheard and saw all of this going on and were touched that this family offered to do that so they told my daughter they wanted to pay for their meals. She relayed the message to the family and they were so grateful. They wanted to tip Sam, however, since they had no tab they had no way to add a tip to their check so they ordered a dessert just so they could tip her. And generously, they did.

Talk about Paying it Forward (which, if you haven’t seen the movie, go watch it now!)

The 3rd family paid for the 2nd family’s meal, the 2nd family took a homeless man to where he needed to go and he (and Sam) got a free meal all because my daughter just wanted to feed a man. The families’ even wrote comment cards about Sam and Pappasitos for how generous everyone was.

Sometimes as parents, we have the tendency to think of the worst. As her mother, I thought about how bad this whole situation could have gone. The kid barely has enough money to feed herself, let alone someone else, her management could have fired her or gotten after her for asking a homeless man into her job but instead comped the meal, and thankfully she wasn’t put in a position where she had to take this man somewhere alone because that nice family offered.

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As my husband was regailing this story to me, tears filled my eyes. As selfish and inconsiderate as we all can be sometimes, this is a testimony of her true heart. The one that makes her eyes smile, that causes her to give her last dollar away as well as the shirt of her back (or the pants, which she did at her first UM Army.)

I texted my daughter later that evening and told her how proud of her I was. We have a saying that when certain things happen we know it is no coincidence.  I ask her “you know who that was, don’t you?” and she replies “Jesus!”

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Because, without a doubt in my very soul, Jesus was in her heart telling her…

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ ~Matthew 25:40

While she may be broke and hungry the rest of her life, I reminded her to never lose that part of who she is. The one who loves the unlovable, feeds the hungry and adopts the scariest looking (but total sweetest) stray dog in the pound because no one else will love it.

That is my girl and I’m so proud to be her mama.

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