I have smiled as I listened to my mom talk about the surprise and the unexpected blessing has been a reoccurring event for her and my dad in recent months.
She is always joyful as she speaks of acquaintances or even strangers who strike up a friendly conversation while she and my dad enjoy a quiet dinner at local establishments. Once the person has been chatted with my parents (and probably serenaded by my dad), they leave the restaurant. It is not until my parents prepare to leave the restaurant that they find out about the blessing. They are struck with surprise and awe as the waitress tells them that their bill has already been taken care of.
I have celebrated and often surprised at the kindness that had been extended toward them over and over again.
Then, it started happening to me. A frappe at Starbucks, breakfast at Chick-Fil-A, lunch at the neighborhood pizza restaurant, and dinner at the Chinese restaurant have all been "taken care of" by total strangers.
Each time this happened to me I thought about how my parents must have felt when this happened to them. These events were not mere coincidences. I believe they occurred in order for me to take a look at the true meaning of paying it forward.
The "random acts of kindness" that occurred in our lives give us a glimpse of the responsibility that we have to show love and compassion to those we encounter daily.
If you see a need, do what you can to meet or minister to that need.
If you have been forgiven, forgive others.
If grace has been extended to you, extend grace to others.
If you have been blessed, be a blessing to others.
If someone has interceded for you, make the time to intercede for someone else.
Paying it forward is not a coincidence nor a new trend in society. It is simply the right and Christ-like thing to do!