I watch her walking into the quick shop. She’s been counting her money, sitting in the car across from me at the gas pumps. The car has seen some hard days, not much left to give. And if I can go by looks alone, she has seen her share of those same hard days. But on this day she wears a tight face of fear. “Will there be enough?”
I slip a $10 bill under her driver’s side wiper…pretty sure no one saw me do it. I think the repetition over the years may have made me slicker at it.
I know that look, that fear… days in my life when I measured money in increments of survival. I can picture one day vividly, sitting that morning in a car at a quick shop gas pump in Knoxville Tennessee…a car running on fumes and almost screaming for an oil change that wasn’t coming any time soon. How much gas can I afford? Will it be enough to get me to work the rest of the week? Questions with heart grit in them and lessoned memory.
The $10 under the wiper got its start years ago. At the time I lived at an apartment complex in Jonesboro Arkansas. I covered three miles almost every morning in the parking lot which served as my walking track. Over the four years I lived there, I consistently found change or bills accidentally dropped from unknowing pockets or purses.
Rather than keep my finds, I would place them conspicuously on the hood or under the windshield wipers of cars parked in the apartment lot. I would ask God to use the unexpected find to remind the receiver that good things could happen that day…hope…and thank Him for the opportunity to be part of that miracle.
One morning a $10 bill blew across my tennis shoe. I snatched it up- out of the wind’s breath. And just like that it found itself under the wiper of the nearest car. Deed done…good day!
Later that day I was getting mail at the bank of boxes at the front of the complex. A woman was there who often retrieved her mail about the same time I did each day- a casual familiar face without a name in the several hundred people who called the apartments home. I said something like, “hope your day went well.”
When she turned to respond, the afternoon sun caught the tears on her face. “Oh, it has! This morning I found $10 under my windshield. Can you believe that?”
“That’s great,” I responded.
“My daughter and I …things are tight financially right now- single mom working and going to school. Every penny counts.”
“I don’t know many people here. Who could have known how much this could mean? So, I finally figured God did. I have been thanking Him all day and asking Him to bless whoever did it and telling anyone who would listen.”
“I bet He has blessed that person, I say.”
“You know I needed a little hope and here it is.”
“Amen, I say.”
“Amen, she smiled.”
One good deed. Have you done yours’s today? It can change everything- for them and for you. And if you feel you have nothing to give, your words of kindness could be the greatest gift of all.