So I wiped the card on my shirt and swiped it again.
I was pretty sure there was money in the account so I asked the cashier if there was an ATM. She pointed it out and I was about to take my cranky, hungry kid over there to withdrawal cash when a woman in line behind us stepped up and said “I got it.”
“I’ll just pay for it. You don’t have any beer or anything in there, do you?”
“No, we have peanut butter and bananas.” I was kinda surprised and not catching on.
She swiped her card and whispered “God says ‘hi’.”
“Oh. Hi.” That was a really lame response, but I did thank her and then I took the grrrl out to the car and gave her a banana. We went downtown so I could check my balance and I realized that I’d forgotten to account for the insurance on my vehicles which comes out automatically every month. I wasn’t overdrawn and I got paid by one of my jobs the next day so it all worked out that way. And I got to explain to my daughter that other people also commit random acts of kindness and that, in this case, the beneficiaries were us.
Friends, what that woman in the check-out line did was about as fine an example of the positive power of religion as you can get. She had on scrubs, so she works in medicine, which ain’t bad money. She had a bit to give to strangers. Her hair and complexion indicated a recent round of chemotherapy, so she understood a bit about suffering. She let me know, in a small and simple way, that she was motivated to kindness by her faith. Bam. That’s a fine thing, right there.
Of course, that woman was almost certainly a Christian, which means that she and I don’t see eye to eye on some matters, but no matter. Whether we share common views on such piddling details as the exclusive divinity of Christ or the Triune nature of the Almighty is trifling bullshit. The important thing is that kindness was done. A small, spontaneous goodness happened, not enough to get anybody into Heaven or significantly improve anyone’s karma or secure anyone a seat in an open lotus in Amitabha’s Pure Land or anything.
God – by any name – appreciates kindnesses. I try to help other people and to teach my child to do the same. As we reap, we sow.