Note: This will be the only devotion for the week. I am taking a break from the devotions to rest and replenish. We will begin again on April 9. Please visit www.upperroom.org for devotions in the meantime.
I received a call from Laura the other day. She said she didn’t know why she was telling me what she was going to tell me but that I had asked people to do Random Acts of Mercy and asked that people tell me so she felt pulled to call. She went on to tell me a wonderful story of generosity. I asked and begged to be able to share this and she agreed.
Laura was in line at Walmart. She normally does not shop there but needed a few things and so found herself there in line. A woman in front of her was paying for some food and things with a LINK card or something like that. It wasn’t working for her and they tried numerous times. Finally, she asked if she could just put the items aside and she would try to go find some cash through a cash machine or something. It was apparent to Laura that she did not have much money. So, she jumped and said, “Don’t do that. I will get it” and she proceeded to put her own credit card into the machine without knowing what the woman had purchased or how much it was. She just knew she needed help. Laura didn’t know why she did it, she just felt the urge to help. The woman said she could not accept but Laura was too quick (probably because she is a physical therapist) and paid anyway. The woman asked for her address so she could pay her back but Laura refused and told her she was simply happy to do it. After a special hug from the woman Laura finished her own shopping and was about to leave. However, she was stopped by the manager who seemed very moved by all of this. “I have never seen anything like that before. That was amazing. Can I give you a hug?” Moved by her generosity the large man hugged Laura in gratitude for her actions. As Laura was leaving the doors, he came running up to her again and just had to let her know one more time how amazing it was and that he never sees that.
Without thinking, the Holy Spirit guided Laura to share her love to a stranger. She did not know her story, she did not judge her circumstances, she merely shared love. The woman was changed, the manager was changed and I believe there were many other witnesses to that moment than Laura even knew. There was even on greater witness, God. I am sure God was saying, “Well done good and faithful Laura. Well done.”
After she told me this story, I asked her how much the groceries cost. She said over $150 but she didn’t care. She didn’t even think about it. I was thinking it was like $40. Her gift to this stranger will most likely cause ripple effects for good in those who were witnesses but I know it will bring a joy unthinkable to the one who offered the gift. Laura’s investment in this woman was not just for her, but it was an investment in the Kingdom of God and when we do that, we find the blessings. Laura just bought $150 of happiness that cannot be found in any material purchase for herself.
Thank you Laura for calling me even when you really were hesitant and sharing this incredible story. Thank you also for being brave and letting me share it with all who will listen. I am inspired to do more and I pray others will as well!
Jesus is alive and He is real! He was shopping with Laura at Walmart!