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Flux Capacitor Technician
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This time of year always gets me thinking of nice gestures people seem to do for strangers in need.

I was talking to a co worker today and he told me about a woman in line at the grocery store in front of him buying some basic food items like produce, eggs & milk. She did not have her wallet with her so my co worker told the clerk to just keep on scanning and add it to his total. He said the woman started crying saying thank you. He told the woman to keep it going and if she could help out someone else that needed it that would be payment enough. They then said merry Christmas to one another and left the store.

This got me thinking about something that happened to me almost 20 years ago this time of year. Here’s the story.

I was at a low point in life going through a divorce and custody battle that as a man I could not win. At the time I had a suspended drivers license for being young and dumb with a fast car (another story for another time). I was taking my son who was about 4 at the time back to the place his mother was crashing at and I was on E. I stopped in at the store about a mile away from my house and put $30 in the tank.

When I got inside to pay I realized I had forgotten my wallet. I explained to the clerk what had happened and asked if I could return in 10 minutes to pay. She said she couldn’t do that and if I leave she will have to call the police to report a theft. I leveled with her and said my license was suspended and having the police arrive would be a ton of trouble for me that I absolutely did not need at that time. She wasn’t hearing any of that so I asked if I could use the phone. She said yes and I tried calling a few folks with no luck.

I see a man through the front windows walking to the door from around the side of the store. The average looking guy in his 30s was wearing jeans, boots and a carhartt coat which is quite normal here in Iowa. The man walks up to the counter and asks how much I need. I tell him I pumped $30 in gas and he hands the clerk cash and asks if everything is square. The clerk says everything is good and I profusely thank the man.

I told the man if he would follow me to the house that I would pay him back plus some extra but he said it was not necessary. During this time my son had wandered down the candy aisle and I told the man excuse me while I get my kid.

I retrieved my son and when I came back around the end of the aisle the man was gone. I asked the clerk where he went and she said he walked away around the corner. I was a bit confused and I asked the clerk if he bought anything else and she said no. He just left. I never saw him again.

I don’t think it fully hit me until I got home later just how strange it was.

I believe to this day that man was there at that time for a very specific purpose. How could he have known I needed some help? Why did he not buy anything for himself if he walked into the store?

It seems to me that sometimes when we are at a low point in life every now and then we get a little tap on the shoulder from the big guy just to remind us we are not alone.

I hope nobody finds my story cheesy because it’s true and I just wanted to share it. Maybe the stranger you help today will help someone else and it will come back to you when you need it most.

Thanks for letting me share why I have faith.
 

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Good story. Need more people to think that way. Sure would make things better. We always do angel tree and things like that. I have a habit of tossing in change for peope infront of me at the register if they are having a hard time finding the extra. I always seem to have a pocket of the stuff.
 

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Ten years ago my father passed unexpectedly. I had just moved to Pennsylvania a few years ago, taking a $15,000 pay cut to be near my wife's side of the family. We had two small children: a 6yo boy and a 4yo girl, and my wife was near giving birth to our third daughter. We left our 1,500 sq ft 3yo condo and moved into a 700 sq decrepit, dingy, dirty little house in the sticks of Western PA. I had no money saved but a few hundred dollars in the bank, and we were basically living pay-check-to-pay-check.

When I heard the news my father was near death overseas, I had to go. I put the $1,200 plane ticket on a credit card, knowing I would have a hard time paying it off afterwards, but had to see my dad one last time. No one else outside our immediate family knew of our finances. I had no choice but to get in debt, and deal with the bill later.

I was leaving on a Monday. On Sunday, at the end of my Sunday School class, the teacher - an older fellow brother in the Lord - came to me and handed to me a $100 bill: I had asked for prayer in class, for my dad's salvation, travel mercies, yet I had not mentioned our financial needs. He just said "You just moved from another State, and you have a very young family. I know how these things are: here's some spending money for your trip."

That brought me to tears. Still does, to this day when I think about it.

The money didn't really solve my financial woes, but it was such a comforting gesture of love and care, that it really made it feel like a million bucks. Nowadays, handing someone a $100 bill is not a big deal for us, but ten years ago, it was. It is something I will never forget, one of the many things I will praise my God for until the day I die.

Small gestures of kindness and generosity really go a long way in the hearts of those in true need. Loving someone in need can - and should - take place anytime: do so, even outside of Christmas season, but love rightly.

Merry Christmas everyone: students just left the building into their break.
 

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Just last night my wife and I delivered a car load of gifts to a family we’ve recently come to know via our church. The husband and wife don’t get along well, they have 5 kids under 8 including a newborn, and they have nothing. They have no work and are living in “emergency” housing. I know enough to know that their issues are related to numerous and continuing poor choices by these parents but the kids are not at fault. Our church families have given them food, gas money, furnishings, kitchen items, etc.

My wife and I decided that Christmas morning they will experience what millions of other families will. We have more than I could have ever expected and we love to give back.

God bless all here and Merry Christmas.
 

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Values. Can't be bought.
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40 years ago in late December I was driving back to Maryland 10:00 PM after a Christmas visit to family in the 'Burgh. On the DC Beltway shoulder was a guy with a Harley. Temp was in the low 30's IIRC. He knew what was wrong, not gas. I got on my CB and two truckers immediately pulled over. The 4 of us manhandled the bike into the bed of my truck. We had to leave the gate down and the biker would not sit up front as we had no straps to secure it. I drive him about 30 miles home as he hunkered down in the front of the bed holding the bike. He gave me some gas from his shed and I went on my way. I had mentioned where I worked, building homes for Ryan Homes, when we talked.
The next week the local supervisor from the power company, who I knew well, came in and said "thank you for helping my son". I had not known that at the time. One day later on, our plumbing contractor hit a power line. It was repaired and no charges ever came.
 

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My Christmas story is one of receiving, and the power of prayer.
I was 10 and I had prayed earnestly for a couple of months for a pony. My older brothers had horses and I wanted one. Not just any pony, I prayed for a black Shetland with a saddle and bridle.
On Christmas morning, I was outside with my 16 year old brother tossing a new football around when up walks my brother's friend Steve. Steve was leading a black Shetland pony, with a bridle and saddle!
I was shocked when Steve walked up and handed me the reins and said Merry Christmas.
I later learned he traded for the pony to give his nephew but the parents said no because they had no place for it. Now Steve had no way of knowing what I had prayed for, and few who knew him then would have ever thought Steve would be a vehicle to answer anyone's prayer, but he surely was that Christmas morning.
 

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It can make you feel good to help others. Done tines it makes you feel like you wasted your time, effort, $$$
I will no longer pull people I don't know out of the ditch. I will not fix their stuff. Rides to town, calls for heLP.... But I know nothing of motors. Past experiences limit what I will do.
One dub zero night a lady blew a lower radiator hose in sub zero temps. With the local Police we got into NAPA, pushed her car Inside the shop a local stock car driver had... Replaced the Jose while she took care of her two kids (store bought cookies, coco mix). Of course she had no money. So pitched in for parts, antifreeze... Next couple towns checked in when she went thru.

The Police Chief did most of the work. Never made the papers.
 
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