The day had been a difficult one for Chelsea. The baby, just six months old, had a fever and Chelsea had been hesitant to leave her with the sitter. But, the baby’s prescription for an antibiotic was waiting at Wal-Mart and Chelsea had to go. She wasn’t certain she’d even have enough money to pay for the medicine and said a small prayer asking that it not be more than the ten dollars in her purse. It was all the money she had and there were rumors of a layoff at her job.
When the pharmacist told her the medicine was just $8.00, Chelsea offered up a thank you and headed home.
As she placed her purse and Wal-Mart bag on the kitchen table, she noticed the bag was heavier than it ought to have been. Looking inside, she was surprised to see a zippered, blue cloth bag, just like the one her boss at Super Foods used to carry cash receipts to the bank each Friday night.
Chelsea unzipped the bag, looked inside, closed her eyes and then looked again, this time in total disbelief. There inside was a bundle of rubber banded bills, several rolls of coins, and a deposit slip with $3,242.61 written on the total line. It was more money than she had seen in a very long time, if ever.
For just a moment Chelsea thought of all the things she could do with that much money, how she could pay the rent on time this month, get more than just a day or so of groceries, and even buy that little matching dress and bonnet set that would look so adorable on Amy Lynn.
But, these were only fleeting thoughts and Chelsea knew in her heart what was the right thing to do. She called the sitter and explaining the situation, asked if she would come stay with the baby for just a little longer.
Returning to Wal-Mart with the blue cash bag clutched firmly to her chest, Chelsea walked into the store, intent on finding the manger. She didn’t have to look far, because just inside the door a red-faced man in a blue suit was shouting at a cowering sales clerk who kept explaining through her tears that she didn’t know what had happened to the missing bag.
“Excuse me sir” Chelsea said, “I believe I can help solve this mystery. When I got home I discovered your cash bag in with my purchase and I’m here to return it”. Not wanting to offend a customer, the manager calmed down and asked if Chelsea or the clerk knew how this had happened.
As it turned out, the manger had laid the bag near the cashier's register when he came to validate a patron's check. Unknowingly, he had knocked it into Chelsea's bag. He was more than a little ashamed and embarrassed as he apologized to the clerk who'd been the object of his anger.
As this drama unfolded, no one noticed the young woman standing close by who was talking animatedly into her cell phone. When conversation ended, she hurriedly approached Chelsea and introduced herself as the human interest reporter from the local tv station and indicated she'd like to interview Chelsea in regard to her “good deed”.
It wasn't long till the camera crew arrived and Chelsea's story was on the airwaves. People listened, some with tears in their eyes, to the story of this young woman who gave back money that she so desperately needed because it was “the right thing to do”.
These same people reached into their own hearts and pocketbooks and soon Chelsea found herself the recipient of donations from all over the state, money, gift cards and even a homemade bonnet and dress outfit for Amy Lynn.
Days later, when the house was quiet and Chelsea had time to sit and think about all that had happened since that day at the store, she recalled something she had read in her devotions that morning.
It was something she often included in her daily prayers..”Lord, make me a blessing that I might be blessed”. As she recalled these words, she knew that God had heard her prayer and answered in ways she could never have imagined but which He had planned before she even asked.