Stoop shouldered and milky eyed with knarred hands, a life time of hard work shows in his every movement. Life may have taken a toll on the old black man’s body but not his spirit.
Today, like many others, he picks his way through the vegetables: selecting a half dozen tender pods of okra and a small bunch of turnip greens then makes his way over to the bargain table for some “less than perfect” tomatoes, onions, and a too large sweet potato. Dinner is going to be some kind of good tonight! He is a kind, gentle soul talking to other customers as he makes his way to the cash registers.
Laughing and telling stories of her grandchildren she catches a glimpse of him out of the corner of her eye as he feebly counts out change for his purchase. She looks at her cart full of choice veggies and home-made jams and jellies then sees her own twisted and swollen arthritic fingers camouflaged by diamonds and precious stones. Life surely must have been different for these two strangers.
She has seen him in the store before. It seems they always shop at the market on the same day. Quietly, tenderly she leans over the counter and tells me, “I want to pay for his purchase.”
As Pat bags his groceries she tells him not to worry…today someone else has paid the price.
This simple act of kindness has “God” written all over it! From taking care of the less fortunate to the “golden rule” and yes ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you’ is in the Bible…
Then I thought of the price that had been paid for me…by someone I didn’t know. That purchaser was Jesus Christ. He paid the price for the remission of my sins not with a credit card as this woman did for the old man, but with his own blood! The procurer of redemption acted on my behalf and I didn’t even know His name! I have to tell you I stopped right there and thanked Him again for reaching out and snatching me from the pit of destruction and setting my feet upon a solid foundation from which springs a life worth living. I thanked Him for the kindness of a stranger to a customer I dearly love to see enter the store.
I was reminded by a simple $5.00 transaction that God is indeed alive and well and He dwells within the hearts of His people.
Today the old man received the gift of fresh ingredients for an old fashioned southern dinner; but I received the gift of seeing my Savior use another to lift the burden of a stranger. Her gift will last a day…Jesus’ gift lasts for all eternity.
To whom will you be the hands… the feet… the purse-strings… the heart of God?
Matthew 5:16 “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” NIV