The Kindness of God
If there is one attribute of God that has shown up on a regular basis in my life, it is this one: Kindness. I experienced it again recently.
I’m a Spanish interpreter in the court system. So work is a constant change of venue and deadlines to get from one courtroom to another during the course of the day.
It was the day before Thanksgiving. The morning caseload was light, so as I left the courtroom in Everett, I decided I had just enough time to run to the grocery store and pick up the last things that I needed for the holiday meal. My next appointment was up in Mount Vernon, but I could swing by the house and drop everything off and make it to work on time.
I picked up more than I intended to and it took longer than I expected. As I stood in line, I was recalculating how long this was going to take. The clerk began to ring up my groceries and I reached for my plastic to be ready to pay and leave. I suddenly realized that I had emptied my bag the day before and had neglected to put back any of my cards, including my driver’s license. But then I saw with a surge of relief that I had brought my checkbook with me, and it had a couple of checks left in it.
“Your total is $100.79.” I handed the clerk my check and hoped against hope that she wouldn’t ask for my driver’s license. No such luck–she asked for it and the next ten minutes seemed like an eternity as my explanations eventually required the presence of the head clerk and then the supervising manager to preside over what would become of my groceries. The verdict: You need to come back with your driver’s license in order to pick up your groceries. The manager told me that even he did not have the power to override the computer system. They were terribly sorry for the inconvenience, but I knew I wouldn’t be coming back.
Some ideas for paying it forward… “Paying for People’s Groceries” Photo Credit: Y107 FM (Nov 22, 2013)
That’s when God showed up. “I will pay for your groceries.” It was the woman in line after me. “Please let me pay for your groceries. We always try to help someone every year, and I would love to do that for you.”
Her kind offer undid me. The tears welled up in my eyes and for a minute I didn’t know what to say. I couldn’t let her do that – I felt guilty that my rushing around should cost someone else that much. I remembered the checkbook and worked a deal that if she would allow me to write her a check, I would agree to have her pay.
She agreed and I wrote in her name: Connie P. I left the store with my groceries and gratefulness in my heart for a stranger that came to my rescue. On my way home, I wished that I had gotten her contact info—I would have liked to know her better.
A week later I received a note in the mail from Connie P.—along with my voided check. It’s my turn now to find someone else to bless and pay it forward. I smiled as I realized I now have that contact info. God is good and relentlessly kind.
Contributed by Lettie Hylarides