When I think of paying it forward, I’m also reminded of Jesus’ admonition to “do to others what you would have them do to you”. (Luke 6:31) That is a great place to start when paying it forward. Whatever makes your heart smile will most likely make another person’s heart smile. Are you blessed by an unexpected, simple gift? A kind word? Someone simply acknowledging that you are present in a situation? It doesn’t have to be a “money-based” gesture. An anonymous note on a random windshield with an encouraging word for the day is appropriate. The options are endless.
Recently, I had the opportunity to be on the “receiving end” of a pay it forward gesture. Since the time I realized I could minister life to those I encountered while walking my dog, I’ve been mindful of asking total strangers if they have a prayer request. I give them a friendly “Hi” and tell them it is my day to pray for other people’s prayer requests. Then I ask, “Do you have a request I can pray about?” The vast majority are quick to respond and are thankful for the offer.
This particular day, I and my dog, Bonnie, came into step with a mother and her young son. Bonnie was the conversation “starter” this time. After a little dog petting session, I asked about any prayer requests. With tear-filled eyes, this young mom spoke of her relentless, but unsuccessful, job search and asked if I would help pray for a job for her. I told her I would pray that she would even have a choice! I gave her an encouraging word of God’s love and all of us continued on our way. Since we were headed in the same direction, she was able to see us arrive at home.
A few hours later, I found a note attached to my door that read, in part, “For Bonnie’s Mom, I just wanted to say THANK YOU for approaching me and my little boy today. You truly became the voice of God with such a nice gesture. After a couple of stressful months searching for a job, my faith and hopes were at their lowest. Talking to you made me feel so much gratitude and happiness! But specially made me feel LOVED by God who found a way to speak to me through your words. Thank you…”.
What can you do today to make a difference in the life of someone else? Even if you never see the results, God can work his wonders in even the simplest efforts. Take the time to find your niche, then strike out to make the difference that will bless God as well as someone else.