I'm still having a hard time believing what happened to us last night...and I know when I put it into words it probably won't convey the depth of it all. It all seems so simple when I think about it, but it felt so big.
Josh got home about an hour later than normal yesterday afternoon. Normally he arrives in the driveway at 3:30 sharp, but he had a meeting with some teachers, so he didn't get home until 4:30. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays I'm always ready to head out the door to work out in Rolla. When he saw me, he said, "You know, I really feel like Mandarin Garden for dinner...would that be ok?" Well, I can't think of anything worse for someone who is trying to lose weight (me)! :o) But I could tell he must have had a rough day (or rough meeting to be exact) so I said, "Sure...let me go work out and why don't you meet me there with the kiddos."
We all arrived at Mandarin Garden around 6:00 or so. We walked in together, sat down, the waitress took our drink orders, and then Caleb and Josh headed up to the buffet. I sat there with Sarah and Gabriel, and I noticed a man sitting a few tables up from us. He was a nice looking gentleman, professionally dressed, sitting alone...I'd guess his age to be late 30's. When Josh and Caleb came back, I took my turn at the buffet, smiling at the gentleman as I walked by him.
I didn't even notice that the man had gotten up to leave a few minutes later. Josh had gone up to the buffet again, and I think I was talking with Caleb...when the man walked up to me from the other side and said, "I hope you don't mind...I'm out of town on business...and I have three kids of my own. I wanted to pay for your dinner."
Ok, so I'm getting tears typing this.
I wish I could have said more than thank you. But in that moment, those were the only words that came to mind. I just smiled and was able to say: "Thank you very much! Caleb...tell this nice man thank you for dinner!" And Caleb did.
I told Josh about it. I kept thinking to myself, "I hope I can pay it forward sometime!"
Wait folks...this gets better.
We then decided to go to Wal-Mart just to walk around. We didn't need anything, for some reason we just like going there! As we headed towards the baby section, Caleb paused and exclaimed, "Daddy...look! Money!" Josh bent down and picked up three, nicely folded $20 bills. I seriously thought to myself, "What are you doing to me, God???" I'm not sure why I thought that, I just did.
Josh said, "We need to take this up front," and I agreed. For a second I remember pondering, "I hope the person at the customer service desk is trustworthy." I wondered if I'd feel comfortable handing over $60 to someone. I don't mean any disrespect to Wal-Mart employees or anything, but $60 is a lot of money to most people! I just had to do what was right and have faith that God would take care of the rest!
A sweet-looking, blonde haired girl was at the desk. I handed her the money and said, "We found this over in the baby section...it's $60."
She looked at me in amazement. She said, "A lady just called about this! Thank you so much!"
"ARE YOU SERIOUS?" I said. I'm sure my mouth was hanging open. "Wow! That's wonderful!"
I still can't believe all that happened to us within an hour. I'm thankful for all of it. God blessed us at the restaurant, and He blessed someone else when Caleb found their money for them.
I'm thankful that kindness still exists in this world, and that God is ever present.