Wednesday, December 24, 2008

She Said 'This Will Come Back to You'

And it did...

Tuesday afternoon I sat in McDonald's finishing up my lunch and playing Bejeweled on my Blackberry. An older disheveled woman sat down at the table adjacent to mine. I noticed her because she coughed a couple times, which always makes me uneasy (see the movie Outbreak). I made a mental note to focus less on the game and more on my meal.

She excused herself and asked if I had the time. Even with my limited social skills, I immediately realized this would be a sign of the onset of a conversation. I stopped playing the game and let her know what time it was.

"I am hungry. Do you know if this restaurant will accept food stamps?" she asked. I sighed, realizing my "I doubt it" would almost certainly be followed a financial request.

I have grown skeptical of all people in the Downtown Boston area. Having worked there for a year, I have heard heartfelt stories of struggle and stories of straight up, organic, bullshit. But more often than not, it is hard to differentiate the two. I've taken this to mean that I should trust no one. But a voice in my heart said "trust her".

She did not ask for my money. I finished my meal in silence. The voice said "offer".

I struggled. I tried to reason that the money in my pocket was not my own. My aunt had given me a $20 to buy something for her and I was carrying her change. "Give it to her" the voice petitioned. The inner rebellion withdrew and although she still hadn't outright asked for my help, I gave her $5.

She showered me with praise and thanked me continuously. The woman was obviously grateful and sincere. Just as I stood up to leave she said "God will bless you. This will come back to you."
Sure, I'd hoped it was true but I did not give it to her in the hopes of reciprocation. My journey in The Experiment has taught me to give without inhibition. The voice, the Lord's voice, told me to...and I did what I was told. No (further) questions asked.

So I went to the ATM and took out a $20 so that I could give my aunt her change. I thought nothing more of the incident.

Until today.

I came home from work and checked the mailbox. Amongst the bills and Christmas cards was an envelope from my weekend job. A check was enclosed.

Now this is a place where I do administrative work twice per month. I was not expecting a check, a bonus, nothing of the sort. The only thing I am waiting for from them is my W2 and the year isn't over yet. Curiously I read the letter before opening the check.

The letter says that a former resident has donated a significant about of money and that they have chosen to pass that donation onto the staff. The check...a modest $25...instantly brought me back to her words.


RunningMom said...

I have heard the voice too.

Listening and acting on the voice doesn't always make sense, but most times it's the right thing to do.

Unfortunately there are crazy folks who hear voices too.. Sometimes I ignore it just to make sure I'm still in control... lol

MyMoneyDream said...

Very Nice!