The Stranger Who Blessed Me


The Stranger Who Blessed Me

“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” John 13:34

“Hey,” I told the young woman behind the Wal-Mart cash register. “Where are my vitamins? I think you gave them to the man in front of me,” I essentially told her. Uh oh.

The young man, standing there with his little boy getting ready to leave now that he had paid for his groceries and placed them in his shopping cart, looked befuddled. I explained while the woman behind the register retrieved the bag in which she had placed my vitamins what had happened. “You just paid for my vitamins.”

“You’ll have to go to returns to get your money back,” she told him.

“Oh no,” I said, feeling bad. “He shouldn’t have to do that. It’s not his mistake.” There would probably be a line, and the man probably wanted nothing more to do than to get home with his son and get on with their day especially given how sunny and warm the late November day was.

“Do you have the cash?” the man said, looking at me. He wanted me to give him the money for my vitamins so he could leave.

“Sorry,” I told him. I don’t often carry cash around.

“Tell you what,” he said. “Don’t worry about it. Merry Christmas.”

“But, but – ” I started.

But he interrupted. “No, seriously. Merry Christmas.”

So kind. So polite. So giving. Incredible, especially in this day and age. Especially from someone so young at a time the world seems to be worsening by the minute.

I reached for my fanny pack I wear around my waist. He thought I was reaching for money. “No,” he said. He had made his decision.

I hadn’t been reaching for money. I gave him one of my Gospel tracts which includes my personal story. He took it and left, leaving me to consider how blessed I had been by this stranger. By God through him. I then prayed very briefly for his family. Maybe the Lord would reach them through my tract. More than anything, I saw how the Lord had once again reached me with His love – through a stranger.

Why is kindness so surprising? And generosity? They shouldn’t be, should they? Aren’t we called to love one another? Aren’t all our resources truly God’s? Aren’t our gifts and blessings from above (James 1:17)? To be shared, distributed, given. Isn’t God’s love to be passed along? In those few minutes, I saw God at work through a stranger. Should any of us be strangers? Are we not all God’s Creation?

   I hope you are blessed by this – and reminded. That we are called to love one another. For Christ’s sake.

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