It’s not very often that I’m on the receiving end of a RAOK from a total stranger. So when the man behind the counter said “It’s on me” I was a little taken aback.
I had stopped to treat myself to a cup of Starbucks coffee on my way to pick up my older boys. I don’t do this often, and maybe he could tell. I confidently ordered my grande Verona and the total came to $2.04. I handed over my debit card and got the most embarrassing news ever. It was denied. For a $2 cup of coffee. I hastily began shuffling through my wallet which had nothing more than old receipts in it for some cash. To avoid the fact that it actually was an awkward moment for the two of us I cut the ice with a “well this is embarrassing” comment. More than that, I was really disappointed. Perhaps this was why I had that nagging feeling not to stop?
As I was fumbling, he was saying something to me but I didn’t understand at first. He said “It’s ok – it’s just a cup of coffee, take it.” I was flabbergasted I mean absolutely surprised. He didn’t have to do that and I was surprised that he did.
In that moment I felt what it was like to receive a gift that I didn’t deserve or expect but that I was very grateful for. I felt like it was God reminding me that I have the power to do that every single day and that there was a time in my life where doing that for someone else was what I lived for.
So this is what it’s like when I pay for the car behind me in the drive through. And this is what it’s like when I drop off groceries to a friend who I know is struggling.
I want so badly to be able to do those things on a large scale and I just can’t right now financially. But maybe I can pay for a car behind me. And maybe I can buy a few extra groceries every week and bring them to the food pantry or to a friend. I can do that. And I know that as I am faithful in the small things again, He will be faithful when He needs me to do the big.
That small gesture reminded me that I felt 100x better when I was giving. That seemingly insignificant cup of coffee given to a stranger reminded me that I have been called to be a light and I need to shine.
Thank you my new coffee friend for doing what you felt was right. It did more than you could ever know.
Have you ever been on the receiving end of a Random Act of Kindness? What was your experience like?