Okay. I think this is probably very un-cool... But I filched a little bit here and there from a book I did not buy in the Christian book store - but I will... I promise!!! I didn't rip the pages out of it or anything... Just read snatches of it here and there and then thought, since I'd already gone over budget on books in Dec., that I'd wait until later to get it. The book is called The God Pocket by Bruce Wilkinson and I can't recommend it one way or the other... 'cause I clearly haven't read the whole thing. But I grasped that the idea is to take one pocket (or compartment in a purse?) and carry money (I'm thinking) in it and then consider that "God's pocket". The next thing is to ask God to lead you to someone He wants to bless and then when you feel Him urging you to do that, you give whatever is in God's pocket to that person and make it clear that gift came from Him.
At any rate, today I headed to one of my favorite places in the whole world - Chick Fil A - and when I got there, it was lunch time which meant the line for the drive through was gi-normous!!! So I had time to think and as I did, I remembered that one morning when my husband was going through McDonald's to get his breakfast, (yes! I know I need to cook more...) he got to the window to pay only to find that the person ahead of him had already paid for him. He was puzzled but also happy that someone would do a random act of kindness like that; it really got his day off to a good start.
So here I am with a gazillion cars in line in front of me, trying to remember how sweet the Lord was to me this morning in my quiet time instead of becoming impatient and berating someone (anyone!) for the fact that I was having to, of all things, wait for my fast food, when I suddenly remembered how Phil was blessed months ago by a total stranger.
I felt a spiritual nudge, which I thought/hope was from the Holy Spirit, to do the same to the people in the car behind me. Only their vehicle was a lot more expensive than mine and so I wasn't sure I had heard right! The feeling, however, persisted. So I began to think about how a person would go about doing this. I mean, when I got to the window, what would I say? I'd like to pay for my order and also for the order behind me as well?
I mean would that cause the young worker to get confused? Or look to see if I was acting like I had an "invisible" friend, like Harvey the Pooka, in the back seat of my car? Would he or she then turn to another co-worker and roll their eyes around while making circles near their head with their index finger?
Or would they simply have trouble understanding what I was saying and ask me to repeat it several times, clogging up the line and causing the people behind me, whom I want to bless, to get ticked and honk their horn at me???
Really, I guess the big question behind all this was: am I crazy? (Never got an answer to that one...)
When I got to the window, the young man told me the total due and I handed him my card. (Love how things don't cost real money anymore.. ha!) Then before he turned away, I said, "And I'd like to pay for the car behind me as well." He did a double take, raised his eyebrows momentarily, and then almost instantly regained his composure, simply saying, "Alright." He ran my ticket and handed it to me and then ran the other and handed it to me, along with the card. As he did, he told me the second total. (Thank goodness the people behind me weren't big eaters! That was one relief! For a minute or two, it had crossed my mind - what if they are picking up an order for 10 people in their office or something?)
As I was starting to drive off, the young man quietly said, "That was nice." which was another relief! He didn't think I was crazy! We wished each other a Happy New Year at that point and honestly, it felt great. The only thing was,I realized later that I forgot to say something about having a blessed day or whatever to clue him in as to why I was doing it. But at least it went off smoothly, without any real hitch and I was very happy.
However, in the few minutes it took me to cross the freeway to get to Wal Mart, I was thinking, "Cathie, that was stupid!!! Those people probably have a lot more money than you do and you don't even know them. For all you know, they could be total boors who would just take the free food and laugh at how the world is full of suckers... You can't be sure God impressed you to do that!!"
As I was walking across the lot to Wally World, the Jimmy Stewart part of me started coming up with answers to silence the Maxine part of me... :) And as I was mentally batting the pros and cons of what I'd just done back and forth, it suddenly hit me: yes, the people behind me could have been louts even though they looked very decent to me; they could have been ax murderers for all I know, although I doubt it seriously. But by the same token, they could be the salt of the earth, people of the highest caliber, good people who were having a down day and needed a little lift, a blessing out of the blue. And since I don't know them, I can choose to think the best of them!
Bottom line: I realized sometimes it's easier to give to people you don't know than it is to people you do know, oddly enough. Sometimes when I buy gifts for people I know, I think, "Why am I doing this? I think they just re-gift the stuff I give them! " or "I'm pretty sure they made Santa's bad list this year but... if I don't give them something, the fat will hit the fire and I don't want that, etc..."
And then my thoughts went a step further. I thought of all that God has given me, knowing every crevice and crack in my heart, every selfish deed and every nasty remark I've ever made or ever will make as well as all my unspoken judgmental attitudes, fears, and whiny thoughts. He knows me. He knows us. And yet He generously lavishes gift upon gift, pours out grace upon grace knowing full-well who I am, what I am, and how I'll act in any given situation.
He knows me.
That's pretty awesome!