“Put that back, Jeremy. Stop pushing your sister, Bradley.” Jill tried to settle the kids as she emptied her basket.
“You’ve got your hands full, don’t you?” said the gray-haired woman behind her. “I just had my grandkids over the weekend, and I’d forgotten how busy they can be.” She smiled broadly.
“Yes, they can be a challenge, that’s for sure. Some days are worse than others. Some are not so bad.”
“That comes to $125.34,” said the grocery clerk.
Jill reached into her purse searching for money. “I can’t find my wallet. Oh, my gosh. I must have left it at home. I’m so sorry. What will I do?” She looked at the clerk who just stared back at Jill.
“I don’t think … Bradley, come back here. Just a minute.” Jill ran after the 4-year-old, grabbing him up in her arms and bringing him kicking and squirming back to the check-out stand.
“I can’t …”
“I’d like to help, if you don’t mind.” The older woman behind her said. “Please let me pay for your groceries.”
Jill looked from the woman to her kids and back to the basket filled with sacks. “Thank you so much. I can’t believe you’d do this for a perfect stranger. Please write down your phone number so I can get your money back to you.”
Two months later, Jill told her friend Leanne about the incident. “When I went to the woman’s home, she told me that it was a blessing for her to be able to help me. She told me how on the day of her wedding 35 years ago, someone stole her purse with all their honeymoon money and plane tickets. She said that while they were giving their report to the police, all of the wedding guests took up a collection and when the ceremony was over, they presented them with more money than they had lost in the robbery. She said she always remembered how God had blessed them and how she finally got to bless someone in return. Can you believe that?”
Jill never thought about God much. She didn’t think she needed to go to church and pray and all that. She managed to take care of things herself without too much trouble. But, since her encounter with the old woman, God seemed to be on her mind a lot.
So when Jeremy asked if he could go to church with his best friend, Brandon, Jill was surprised. They had never taken the kids to Sunday school, and she didn’t even know Jeremy knew about Jesus.
“Why do you want to go to church?”
“Well, Brandon’s parents take him every week, and Brandon says that God blesses him and his family every week, and since that’s what the nice lady said who bought our groceries that time, I thought if I went to church that God would bless me and our family, too.”
Jill was astonished. Jeremy came home that day talking nonstop about Jesus, and for the next several months he went with Brandon to Sunday school every week, and every week he’d tell her more and more about Jesus.
Jeremy’s enthusiasm finally got to her, and she started going to church herself. It wasn’t an easy transition, but Jill was eventually baptized. Her prayer that day was to be a blessing to others just as the old woman and Brandon’s parents had been to her and her family.
“I’m not sure how I’ll go about doing that, God, but I’m going to count on you to show me the way. “
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