Sunday, July 19, 2015

Crayons and Double Bounce Backs

Yes--there's been another long pause in my blog posts.  I took a week to unplug right after the July 4th holiday (I'll have to write about that another time) and last week was busy with out-of-town guests and volunteering at a day camp with our local Erie City Mission.

But now I'm back on the trail hunting stuffed animals and crayons.

I was on stuffed animal safari yesterday and at one sale I overheard a mother talking to her little blonde-haired boy as he sat on a tiny two-wheeler bike with training wheels.  She was explaining to him that she didn't have $15.00 and couldn't buy the bike, even though it was just what they'd been looking for.  She looked tired and care-worn.

I just don't get enough chances to "pay it forward" and, because of God's abundant blessing in my life, I wouldn't miss $15.00.  So, I asked her if it would be okay if I paid for the bike.  Her eyes filled as she told me how life had been hard and that they'd been looking for a bike for her son for a while.  She made the little guy thank me--awkward for both of us--and then I was on my way.

Fast forward to this afternoon where I stood in Walmart stacking boxes of crayons in my cart in easy-to-count rows of twenty.  For years I've been a crayon snob who would only put Crayola crayons in my Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes, but I've been unable to find any good price-matching deals on Crayola in the past two years.  So now I'm collecting CraZArt crayons for .25 a box at Walmart.  The thing is, they won't order them for me and don't always have them in stock at every store.  I'm stalking Walmarts these days.

I was elated to find 600 boxes today at one store (bringing my total to 2,300 out of the 8,334 boxes I need this year.  But even better was the many chances I had to share with people about Operation Christmas Child as they walked by my cart.

Best of all was my talk with a woman named Pat.  She saw my Operation Christmas Child T-shirt, looked at the crayon-stuffed cart, and said, "I bet you're doing what I'm doing."  She was buying Crayola crayons for her boxes and talked animatedly about how she started a few years ago with a few boxes and was up to packing 24 this year.  She sure loves the ministry!

I was able to share some stories with her, and I was blessed to hear she attends a church I tried to recruit for OCC a few years ago.  The church declined to participate because of other commitments, so I was super excited to hear that at least one of their members is packing boxes on her own.

Before we parted ways, she pulled out her wallet, said, "Will you let me help you buy your crayons?"  and handed me $25.00.

That old saying "You can't outgive God" is really true.  My meager attempt to pay it forward bounced back almost double.

No comments:

Post a Comment