It finally happened to me. I had heard about the practice, and had even participated a few times myself. But I’d never actually been the recipient.
As is my daily routine, I was in line at Starbucks for an early dose of caffeine, some quiet time and writing. I spend a couple hours each morning in the same Starbucks, drinking the same drink, participating in the same ritual; I know the other regulars, and they know me.
And it was during my morning ritual that it happened. As I got ready to pay for my grande Awake Tea (only $1.95 by the way), the barista said, “Don’t worry about it, a kind woman in line ahead of you already paid for it.”
My eyes quickly started scanning the area looking for somebody I knew or somebody who may know me. But because it was way earlier than normal, the place was fairly empty and none of the usual crowd had arrived….I couldn’t identify anybody who would have thought to buy me a drink. And then our eyes met.
She was an older woman waiting for her drink, I knew it was her because as soon as our eyes met, she looked away hoping to conceal her identity, and her good deed. I approached her and asked if we’d met before…if she attended Saddleback. Her reply: “No, we haven’t met, and I don’t go to church, but I thought you looked sort of tired and I wanted to put a smile on your face.”
It actually is the thought that matters! “I THOUGHT you looked sort of tired,” she said. So she gave me a gift- a gift worth $1.95. But it was worth so much more. An observant stranger with an extra $1.95 on her Starbucks card took the time to think about somebody other than herself. It made my day.
BOOM…the power of a gift!
Christmas is about giving gifts- God’s gift of his precious son and our gifts of meat and cheese packs and video games. But if we think about it…like, really THINK about it, every day can be about gifts- the gift of encouragement, forgiveness, a helping hand, a smile…and yes, a $1.95 grande Awake Tea.
You are reading this a week before Christmas. It may be that today, after reading this little article, you will find yourself Christmas shopping for meat and cheese packs and video games. My challenge for you is this: Don’t let today end without doing something small and unexpected for somebody who doesn’t see it coming.
*P.S.- Here’s another $1.95 day-maker: Make someone else’s day or your own with the Live Student Journal for only $1.95 while supplies last!
*Like reading Kurt’s thoughts on junior high and youth ministry? Get them in your inbox every Wednesday through SYM Today Newsletter. Sign up here!*