Thursday, January 20, 2011

Five dollars' worth of Joy

A friend of mine who has physical and mental challenges called me this morning to tell me about something WONDERFUL that happened to her yesterday.

This friend faces many, many challenges everyday -- she's older, she's alone, she's disabled, she can't walk without aid, she has a host of medications for her various physical problems, her income is very limited, etc. etc. etc. Her life is tough, no question. Little things we take for granted are very difficult for her.

Because transportation to and from places is such an ordeal requiring bus schedules and passes or pre-arranging trips with a social worker or friend, she shops for small grocery items at the gas station next to her apartment building.

Yesterday when she went to pay for her Pepsi and bananas, the clerk told her that the lady who had just left gave him $5 to go toward whatever my friend would purchase. She got her Pepsi, her bananas, and the change.

And she called today, still living on the high that someone would do that for her. That someone who didn't even know her would want to bless her like that! I'm sure that her call to me was not the only call she made to share her good fortune.

So far, a measly $5 has bought my friend two days worth of joy! And it's not the money... it's that someone chose her. They noticed. And they cared.

I hung up the phone determined to deliberately follow more of those little nudges my heart gives me to do the small things. To act on the impulse to show love or compassion as soon as I feel it, instead of arguing with myself about the practicality, the cost to me, the danger of being misunderstood.

Logic sucks the life out of love. It takes what is noble and twists it into something practical, something "reasonable."

I don't want to be reasonable anymore.

I want to give someone the experience of being noticed and chosen and blessed for no reason.


  1. mmm i like this :) impacting story...

  2. I think it is so neat that a simple act of kindness can have such a huge impact. I know what you mean when you say it's not about the $5, but it's about the act of taking time to notice those in need and acting on that. Her story has not only given joy to her, but also to those she chooses to share her story with. Thanks for spreading the joy:)

  3. And it's so little. Think of what I do with $5 - beer. A tip at a restaurant. The TAX on my fancy makeup. Who am I to begrudge $5 to someone to whom $5 MEANS something?? (Bad sentence.)

  4. NICE STORY! So encouraging that something so little can make such an impact. I too will start to not only listen to those nudges, but TRY my best to obey them. Thanks for the encouraging story friend.

  5. Sweet indeed! I was just pointed here on FB, and the timing was great as another FB friend was looking for some ROAKs for a school project. Blessings to you for sharing the story!