A couple of weeks ago, I was in Augusta, GA for work. It was lunch time and I ran to get something to eat. I knew I had to make it quick so I decided that Sonic would be a good option. I ordered a foot long Chicago dog, tater tots, and a large Cherry Limeade. I really love Chicago dogs. The flavor combination really appeals to me so I try to have one every once in a while so I was really looking forward to having one on this day.
A few minutes after placing my order, a young girl, I would estimate her to be college age, came up on roller skates to deliver my order to me. She read my order back to me and instead of a Chicago dog, she had brought me a chili cheese dog. Normally I wouldn’t have said anything; I would have just eaten it. I am not a picky eater anyway, but I was really looking forward to the Chicago dog and I knew it would not be a good idea at all to eat a chili cheese dog this early in the day so I told her that I had ordered a Chicago dog, not a chili cheese dog. I know that I said a Chicago dog, but somehow she must have not heard me correctly.
I pointed out to the girl that I had ordered a Chicago dog, not a chili cheese dog. A look of dejection came over her face like she couldn’t do anything right, but she kindly took it back and made my order again, making sure it was correct this time.
As soon as she left, I felt terrible and regretted saying anything. She looked like she was having a bad day and I certainly didn’t help that situation at all. In that moment I could sense God talking to me. He told me that it was OK to get the order right, but I should reward her by being generous with His money. I looked in my wallet and the only cash I had was a 20 dollar bill. Is that too much? The order was only for $7 and change. As soon as I was thinking this, I heard a resounding “No” in my head so I did not question it.
When the girl returned with my corrected order, I said to her, “I don’t know if you know God or have a relationship with Him, but He told me He wanted you to have this.” I handed her the $20 and stood there for about 3 seconds with her mouth open. She said, “All of it? Are you sure? That is too much?” I told her that I wasn’t sure if it was too much or not, but God had told me it wasn’t and it was His money and that I should give it to her and that it wasn’t my place to say no. She said, “Really, I never thought about it like that? That seems to make sense. I was having a horrible morning. I was running late to work this morning and got a speeding ticket, which made me even more late for work. I didn’t know how I was going to come up with the money to pay for the ticket. This will help me out so much. Thank you so much!” I told her that she was welcome, but to please thank God too because it was His idea, not mine. She said, “I will. I was having a horrible day, but this just made today great. Thanks again. I do believe in God, but I wouldn’t say I have a real close relationship with Him. I know lots of Christians around here, but they always seem to judge me and look down on me. You didn’t do that. Thank you for not doing that.”
In that 30 second exchange her entire demeanor changed. A huge smile had come to her face and I believe she almost started to cry. She smiled at me again and thanked me one last time and then she turned and skated away.
I found that I had a great rest of my day too. In fact, I would say it was the best day of my week. I was down $20, but I had gained so much more. I was proud of myself for listening to God and following through with what He asked me to do. I was so grateful that God chose to work through me in that moment to brighten that girl’s day. God will choose the impact that simple act of kindness will have on that girl’s life, but I would like to think, I hope and pray, that it has a life-changing effect on her and brings her closer to God.
God’s love was flowing. God blessed me by giving me more money than I need so I had extra to give. Then He gave me the direction with what to do with that money and the opportunity to obey Him. All this was God’s love flowing into me. My heart was filled with His love. When I made the decision to obey God, some of that love from God that had flowed into me was allowed to flow into this girl. This was my gift of love to her. This caused her heart to be filled with love. Her reaction and smile shot some of that love I had given her to be shot right back into my heart. I got a double-dose of love. This was her gift of love to me. Me obeying god and thanking Him, and hopefully that girl thanking god, were our gifts of love back to God. I don’t know about you, but I think that is a pretty awesome circle of love.
Valentines Day is a day all about love. Love can be shown in so many different ways. Gifts don’t always need to be expensive. Meaningful gifts can cost almost nothing when they come from your heart. The gifts that are even more meaningful come from the heart of God. The gifts that are the most meaningful gifts of all are the ones you allow to flow through you.
I never caught that girl’s name and I doubt I will ever see her again, but I don’t think I will ever forget that one minute of my life. Something tells me she won’t either. God gave us both amazing gifts that day, but He gave me the most meaningful gift of all. For that one moment, I got to experience a little bit of what heaven must be like right here on earth.