Friday, October 7, 2011

Do Unto Others

Today I had lunch plans with a girlfriend, it was a long overdue 'date,' and one that I was looking forward to, so that we could catch up on life.  We met at a new trendy sandwich shop, sat at a table on the balcony overlooking the creek, and we talked endlessly about everything from our kids who drive us crazy one moment, to making us cry from hearing, "I love you Mom," the next moment.  Both of us didn't want the time together to end, so we decided to leave the restaurant and walk downtown to visit a few of our favorite shops and boutiques; that way we could continue to talk. 

When we got to the first store, I was so enthralled with the story she was telling me about her daughter, I didn't pay much attention to my surroundings or the people hustling and bustling around me.  Behind me,  I heard a woman's voice say, "excuse me, Madam, excuse me Madam."  My first thought was, she's not talking to me, I'm not a Madam! So I kept walking, not turning around, and sunk back into conversation with my friend, who by the way, never stopped talking. 

The woman said again, "Madam," then I heard the click of her heals walking quickly behind me.  I finally turned around toward this beautiful girl with long blond hair, smiled, and said can I help you?  "Madam, you dropped this money on the ground when you walked passed me and I wanted to return it to you." she said as she handed it to me.

I couldn't get passed the word 'Madam' swirling around in my mind and thought to myself for a split second, I'm not a I, why is she calling me Madam, do I Look like a Madam?" 

Then my senses came back to me and I answered her, "thank you for checking with me, but I'm sure that $100 dollar bill is not mine, I don't have a $100 dollar bill with me." In my mind, I was thinking, I really could use that $100 dollar bill, but in my heart I knew it wasn't mine.   I insisted that it must have been someone else's money and I tried to hand it back to her but she stepped back.  She said, "I saw it falling through the air and onto the ground just after you passed by the rack with the sweaters on it, and she pointed to the rack, as if that would clear things up. 

Then I began thinking about it and thought I better check my wallet, maybe there would be a clue or maybe my wallet would speak to me and say, "Yes, it's your $100 dollar bill!"  Unfortunately, my wallet didn't speak to me.  I saw the same twenty dollar bill that I had just seen earlier, when I finished paying for lunch.

Once again, I had to say it wasn't mine.  My friend blurted out that it wasn't hers either; money doesn't stick around too long in her wallet! 

The mystery still existed.  I felt like she should take the money because she found it.  I couldn't see taking money that clearly wasn't mine, and by the despondent look on her face, she seemed to need it. 

I held out my hand with the money tucked tightly into my palm, reached for her hand,  and placed it in hers.  With a smile I said, "take it." Her eyes welled up with tears and she said, "you can't begin to imagine how much I need this." She turned around, looked up and whispered, "thank you God." as she walked off towards the exit doors of the store.

My friend continued on with her talking marathon, but I couldn't stop thinking about the beautiful girl and the encounter we just had.  I was happy for her even though I didn't really know her or her situation.

The next day around 4:00 pm, my friend, who was with me the day before, called me from her job, she worked at our local electric company, and said, "you will never believe who walked in the door today! Do you remember that pretty gal with the long blond hair from yesterday, the gal you gave the $100 dollar bill back to?" she said with a high pitch in her voice."

Without letting me get a word in, she went on to say, "there I was, standing at the copy machine, when I looked up and saw the pretty blond gal leaving the Payment Counter.  I talked to the service rep after she left the building,  she said the gal was scheduled to have her electric turned off today, the gal paid the late charges with a $100 dollar bill!" 
I tried to interject the conversation with a response of, "that's great," but she  wouldn't let me get a word in.

She went on, sputtering out the words without taking a breath, explaining that the service rep sees her in the office often, paying her electric bill, and has taken a liking to her.  She said she's a struggling single parent and a really hard worker. 

"I almost forgot to tell you, the blond gal told the service rep than an angel gave her the money and explained the story of what happened yesterday, isn't that great, she thinks you are an angel!"

I butted in with a clarification that I'm not an angel, I didn't know who the money belonged to, and I just didn't feel right keeping it.  My friend said, " I know that, but the gal thought you knew it was yours, and you gave it to her anyways."  The blond gal went on to say that without the money, she wouldn't have been able to keep the electric on because she hadn't gotten enough hours at her job to cover all of her bills. As she walked out of the office, she said with a smile "God is good to me!"

I was happy that the situation worked out the way it did and hung up with my friend feeling good that the 'gal' and her kids would have the lights on for another month.
Later that evening, I was standing at the stove cooking dinner, my husband came home, walking up to me grinning, and he said, "I forgot to ask you last night, when you got home, did you find the $100 dollar bill that I put in your back pocket?  I thought you could use it to buy something for yourself since you are always taking care of others."  I smiled and said,  "yes, I used it alright, it was the best thing that could have ever happened." Thank you for putting the money in my pocket, you made someone's month with it," then I happily explained how God worked in a mysterious way yesterday.

It's good to do unto others as you would want them to do unto you!


cari said...

Such a cool story DeEtte... :-) you are an angel!

Tami said...

What a great story, it made my cry.

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