George Bailey in the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” got a picture of what it would have been like in his town if he would have never been there to do the good deeds for which he was known to do. You and I, just like him, are leaving an imprint in our world as well. Did you ever take a meal to a needy family or someone recuperating from a health condition? Or maybe take Christmas cookies to your neighbors? Or provide gifts for those who otherwise would have none? Did you ever surprise someone in a restaurant by paying for their meal? Whatever the deed, people are very appreciative when they are the focus of an act of unconditional love and generosity, and often times are motivated to do the same for others. Sometimes we call that paying it forward and I have tried it a few times myself, and I noticed that you get some wonderful reactions and responses.
Just like the other night when I was in a Turkey Hill store and as I passed by the cashier’s counter I overheard a man say to the cashier, “Sorry, I left my wallet in my car, I’ll be right back!” I saw it as a right place at the right time situation, and since I believe God orchestrates all events in our lives I quickly stepped over and paid the man’s bill before he returned. His response was classic, “Wow! Thanks for doing that for me!” he said. I responded with “Merry Christmas” and handed him my blogger business card which contains the link to my blog and a Gospel message and he was on his way. Who knows what that act of kindness and planting of a seed will produce for eternity? Only God knows!
My grandma Margaret Anspach paid it forward in her own ways. She didn’t pay peoples bills since she had very little in the monetary realm, but she somehow (especially at Christmas) found ways to show the love of God to those in her family and those in close proximity to her. See below her entry in her diary after a busy Christmas Eve in 1971.
Friday, December 24, Cloudy 40 degrees. I arose at 7 and looked over my Xmas boxes (gifts she was gathering for others). Snack came and we went up to Billy S. and gave him a mince pie. Up to Pop and gave him a shirt and cookies. Then to Verna’s store. Snack and I got a cart full of groceries for Wayne and Floss. Then we went to Ellie K., she was happy and thankful. We were at Nora K. and she received us nicely. Then to Mary B. and I really had a nice box for her but she wasn’t home. Then to Wayne and Floss, no thank you’s there. This evening all my kids and grandkids came home and we exchanged presents. I really got a lot! Irene is better and she was pleased with her nightie. I got 3 toasters! Good day!
We can all pay it forward for someone. Grandma showed kindness to her nextdoor neighbor Billy, her father-in-law, her brother-in-law’s family who was much poorer than anyone in our family. (My mom would take us there when we were feeling sorry for ourselves and we’d come away thinking we were rich!) Grandma noticed when people were happy and thankful and even when gratitude was not shown. She knew the joy in giving and God returned many a blessing back to her as He is faithful to do as kindness done in His name brings eternal results.
You know, our Heavenly Father came up with the ultimate pay it forward story when He sent his Son Jesus down to us to be born in a humble cattle stall and be placed in a lowly manger. He left the glories of heaven where he was worshipped continually by a heavenly host of angels and created beings. The Apostle Paul described it perfectly in Philipians chapter two when he said, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”
Yes, that little baby Jesus of whom we think fondly at this time of year was on a mission that would take him to the Cross where he would shed His blood for you and me so that we, one day, could be with Him. Life is SO short! The older I get the more this truth hits home. Many people don’t even make it to my age! I was watching the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” the other night and it hit me that there are probably very few people in that movie (made 69 years ago) who are still alive on earth today! Eternity is right around the corner!
Jesus is the Ultimate and only Savior who had the right and the power to pay it forward for all of mankind. Paul went on to say, “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
“For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son that whosover believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) Now that’s paying it forward for all eternity! That’s where my grandma is, enjoying eternity with Jesus. I pray your faith is in Jesus. He is the ULTIMATE gift to RECEIVE and the GREATEST gift to GIVE at Christmas.
Next story “Grandma Remembers” below: