I received an invitation this morning from one of my Facebook friends to attend an on going event called "Pay it Forward." This story I'm about to tell will give you a way to anonymously pay it forward, really help someone in critical need, and do so through out the year to come. This might become a bit long, so refresh your coffee get comfortable, here goes.
This story actually begins with an invitation to join a mens Bible study group. Two deacons from a local church invited me to attend services at their church. At the time that was about the last thing in the world I would have ever wanted to do. I remember them sitting in my living room as one of them began criticizing my bow hunting. I found her technique to be an interesting approach to evangelism. The gentleman began telling me about the mens bible study group he belonged to. Seems the dozen of them met every Saturday morning at 8:00. I laughed inside as I said I'd give the mens group a visit. I'd made a promise to myself, "If ever there weren't a dozen guys there I didn't have to ever go again, in fact I intended to never go again". The cynical side of me would catch that guy in a lie. There was no way a dozen guys would ever get together on a Saturday morning to study the Bible. So armed with my personal promise I went. I went for two and a half years!
One of those cold snowy Saturday mornings ( I was sure a dozen guys wouldn't show up that morning, I was kinda looking forward to sleeping in.) I found myself to be the twelfth guy. Our pre-study conversation found itself to how nasty the weather had been yesterday morning. I related how I had given some kid a ride and a pair of gloves yesterday in the snow storm.
The story begins. Six of us in the room had helped that kid that morning totally unaware of the others. Here's what happened as best as I can piece it together. One gave the kid a scraper to scrape his windshield before the kid left his driveway, no big deal he gave him an extra one. One gave him a ride to the closest gas station. He found out the kid was on his way to a new job and had run out of gas. My friend was also on his way to work he did what he could to help the kid. Another bought the kid a cup of coffee and a roll at the gas station. Another had purchased a gas can for the kid, another filled it up. I gave the kid a ride back to his car,
a stocking cap, a scarf, and a pair of gloves, just extra stuff from my truck. The sixth guy smiled. He had heard the story told from a different perspective. He thought he had seen that ridiculous scarf somewhere before. He had provided the job the kid was trying to get to that morning.
Here's the real cool part. The other six guys in the room had heard the story. After study group here's what they did. They agreed to purchase three gas cans, tape an envelope containing ten dollar bill and a note to each and place them at three gas stations in the area. The note just says, "You're welcome. Repay us, by helping the next guy you can. 12 "
To get twelve to attend regularly really took a larger group. So it wasn't always the same guys each week.
Those twelve guys, from that morning, know the story. I share the story occasionally as do the others. I can't remember which 12 guys were involved exactly. It wasn't a big deal, it wasn't a burden, it wasn't a large sacrifice. Anybody could have done what they did. They will tell you that. It's just that they each did what they could.