"Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give;
not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver."
- II Corinthians 9-7
|photo via pinterest|
Sometimes you meet people in your life who leave such an impact on you that you know you'll never forget them.
Such was an incident the other day when my husband and I were taking one of our afternoon strolls, although this time we were headed to the local pawn store to see if we could sell one of Andy's old swords that he had collected as a child. Though the sword was worth a pretty penny, we knew the pawn dealer wouldn't give us more than $25 for it, if we were lucky. But to us it didn't really matter, since it had just been a waste of space for us anyway. We figured someone else would get a good deal on it.
As we headed out on our way we were stopped by an elderly gentleman who asked us where we were off to carrying such a sword as we were, then asked to see it himself. After allowing him to view the sword, we answered with the truth. The man was shocked by our answer, realizing that we would probably get gypped out of a good deal. He told us repeatedly that he wouldn't recommend that we sell it to the pawn dealer and when we finally said that it didn't bother us he stated that he would like to purchase it himself, paying us a deal more than what the pawn dealer would offer. We agreed to the purchase, however, he would be unable to give us the money until about a week later when he would get his next paycheck. So he asked us to hold onto it for him and we agreed. The plan was to sell it to him on the first of the following month.
We went along on our business like normal that day discussing the kind offer from the man, however we did not expect him to actually buy the item. Maybe we doubted him because one doesn't normally meet someone, a stranger at that, who gives an offer like that.
So Andy and I agreed that if he didn't show up like he had promised that we would sell it.
Well the first of the month arrived and he didn't show. It was a Saturday, so I had just assumed that he forgot that his paycheck wouldn't arrive until Monday. So when Andy was beginning to think that we should just pawn it I told him that perhaps we better wait it out until Monday.
Another day rolled by, and that evening we had a knock on our door. It was pretty late and we rarely have visitors, so when the elderly gentleman was at our front door we were taken by surprise. He first apologized that he hadn't stopped by to pay us and explained that it was because he wouldn't get his paycheck until Monday, just as I presumed. Being a Sunday, he still didn't have the money, but announced that he'd return the following morning with the full payment.
And return he did.
It took me slightly by surprise, but he showed up with the full payment. With thankful hearts we accepted it.
Now let me back up just a bit. . .
The night before when the elderly gentleman stopped by he asked us if we wanted more for the sword than what he was offering. Surprised already by his generous offer, we said no. His offer was more than we expected and we didn't want to gyp him either. Somehow though, the man sensed that we could use the extra money (how he sensed that I am unsure). He shocked us immensely when he offered to give us the payment for the sword without taking it so we could sell it to someone else; basically so we could get extra money out of it. The offer was assuredly generous, yet we could never do that. After all, we were entirely happy with his first proposal and told him that if he paid us we'd happily give him the sword in return.
So when he showed up on Monday with the payment in return for the item we were both surprised and pleased that the gentleman truly meant what he said.
Amongst all of this we ended up being able to get to learn a few things about the man and had several biblical conversations with him, which delighted Andy and myself. He has such a passion for giving and even more so for his Creator.
Before he left that day he asked us to contact him if ever we were struggling and could use some financial help. We thanked him for the offer and bid him farewell.
Later we discovered that this man has a reputation for giving to those in need.
We also discovered that he was homeless.
This man took no pleasure in spoiling himself with earthly riches. He was all about cheerfully giving to others.
I learned that he is saving to afford a home of his own, but as of right now, I believe he is currently living with a relative. We were also told that he had a rough life and went through many difficult and trying situations. Yet, he continues to help others before himself and live each day like it is a blessing to be alive.
While I believe that it is important to be able to support yourself so you will better be able to serve others, I do admire what this man is doing. His generous and giving spirit has warmed my heart. He has a good head on his shoulders and I'm sure he's building himself a nice spot in Heaven for it.
"I'm doing the Lord's work," he says. "You can't go wrong when you do that. It's what Jesus would do."
We are thankful to now call this gentleman our friend. I smile when I think about his kind and giving spirit.