In the Flow with Healing Waters
Paying it forward
If you have taken an opportunity to give and expect nothing in return – you have paid it forward.
If you have taken an opportunity to give and expect nothing in return – you have paid it forward. The other day I stopped by a CVS store to pick up dental floss. The only checkout available was self-serve and a woman attempting to checkout was not having any luck paying at the machine with cash. Her purchase was under $2 and with no employees in sight, I said, “Let’s do it this way,” I put my credit card in the machine and it wouldn’t accept that either. It was frozen.
The line began to grow and eventually, an employee came to the register not knowing there was an issue with the self-serve machine. The man at the front of the growing line saw there was an issue and motioned for me to get in line ahead of him. I said, “She is the one that has been waiting,” and I invited the woman to step in front of me. We all paid it forward a little, and it felt so good and right.
This brought me to a wonderful memory. In about 2008 I was in San Francisco on a business trip. We had gone out for dinner at a very nice Italian restaurant one evening and I ordered lasagna. It was delicious and the serving size was at least 3 times what I could eat. I asked for a to-go bag, a fork, and a napkin. The others looked at me kind of strangely and reminded me that there wasn’t a refrigerator in the hotel room and asked me what I was doing.
I said, “I have a plan.”
If you have ever been to San Francisco, you probably have encountered people asking for money. When I was young, I remember my dad telling us stories about how he would give to people. As a recovering alcoholic, he said he never gave people money, but instead, he would buy them food. He would take them to Mcdonald’s or another fast-food restaurant to give them nourishment. This stuck with me and today was my day to give another person in need, nourishment.
A few blocks after we left the restaurant my opportunity arrived. A man asked me for money, and I said, “I have food. Would you like some?” His eyes lit up and he nodded yes. As I reached out the bag with warm lasagna, another man tried to grab the bag. I pulled it back and then offered it to the first man again.
Our eyes were locked into each other and the words he spoke still bring tears to my eyes as I write this. He said, “Thank you, and God bless you.”
What I want to share is after all of these years this gift of giving is etched in my heart. I imagine he does not think much about a warm lasagna meal he enjoyed so many years ago, BUT I DO. I honestly didn’t expect to receive so much from the simple act of giving someone food that would have otherwise been thrown away.
His look of gratitude and feeling of my heart opening still lifts my heart today. I am grateful for the moments I have paid it forward.
Do you recall a time when you paid it forward? Now, remember what that felt like. What is great about paying it forward – you can repeat it many times.
Love living in the flow.