Pay It Forward
He came into the store behind me and I stole a look at him over the coffee kiosk. Nothing about him appeared friendly as he moved hurriedly to get his food and beverage. No one else seemed to want to get in his way either! If Moses could part the Red Sea, this guy could part the masses.
I stood behind him in line and could not help but wonder what all of the trappings meant. He had a flag around his head which seemed to indicate that he was committed to his country. The uniform he wore was dirty as if he had worked outside all night. The bag over his shoulder looked like it had clothing, as if he was homeless. All I could see was his profile-tired eyes, an unkempt beard, and a rugged complexion. It seemed only natural to stay about two feet away...
just in case....
As he approached the cashier, he turned towards me and said, "I'll
get the lady's coffee as well." "Excuse me?" I sputtered, nearly
choking on the sip of coffee I had just swallowed. "I'd like to get your
coffee," he offered. He turned his head towards me. When he did, I saw his eyes soften and his mouth form a smile. My brain was trying to catch up with my manners and I just barely got out a "thank you,"
then he was out the door.
It all happened so quickly. Coffee in hand, I dashed out the door, wanting to linger in that incredible moment of surprising generosity. I caught up to him at his truck and thanked him again. He looked in my eyes and smiled, then said, "random acts of kindness." My expression must have conveyed the puzzlement I felt inside. He added, "pay it forward." Before I could reply, he was gone and all I could see was a trail of smoke against the backdrop of the sunrise.
While have not seen him again, I have to say, he totally threw me off my game. My mind went wild with stories based on what appeared to be an angry exterior. His face seemed to change when he looked at me and I wanted to take back the litany of of thoughts I had about him.
Ever thought you had people all figured out and then find out you were wrong? Welcome to my world!
Well, thank you, Great Spirit, for yet another lesson learned. Hopefully, I will remember it, so I don't have to keep learning the same lesson
over and over and over...!