Folded Fiver

She was a little stressed about money. They had taken out a loan to consolidate a bunch of medical bills. It was supposed to mean they could negotiate for reductions on the bills. Only one bill was reduced at all. Then he missed a single day of work. And there was a car accident. An unpaid day and an insurance deductible blew the plan for repayment. That’s how they found out about the true cost of the loan. The interest rate jumped enormously after the first 60 days. They hadn’t paid attention to that, because the plan had been to pay back the loan within 8 weeks. The plan was blown. For the next six months they paid everything they could to get rid of the loan, but the massive interest meant they were barely denting the principle balance. They don’t blame anyone but themselves for what they call “their own stupidity”. But with money tight, groceries were a random event. She found herself at the convenience store, chiding herself for spending $5 on a hummus cup and a drink. When she approached her car, the parking lot was empty, but there, lying right next to her door was a folded up five dollar bill.

She looked around to make sure there wasn’t someone she should return it to, but it occurred to her then that this was a gift from God, letting her know it was going to be okay. She began putting her worries away.

Later that same week, the office ordered lunch. Knowing her next payday was right around the corner, she pulled two five dollar bills from her wallet and ordered her sandwich.

Lunch arrived and with it, her money had been returned. The restaurant had refused all payment for the order as they had not prepared the lunches on time.

That same folded five dollar bill returned to her wallet and she smiled at the provision of God and the reminder that she needn’t worry.

The next week, after a tough work day, she impulsively pulled into that same convenience store for a soda. On her way in, she noticed a young woman standing by the door and was struck by the impression that she was supposed to help her. She returned a few moments later with her soda and opened her car door. The woman was there and the same feeling–the same sense, but now, she sensed the voice that said, give her that $5. The same bill she had picked up in the parking lot the week before.

She hesitantly got out of her truck, the bill tucked in her hand and went toward the young woman, who smiled at her with a look of such utter sweetness and peace that she was startled and felt like weeping for joy at the same time. The young woman greeted her and she responded with, “How are you?”

“I’m having a rough day, but it will be fine.” She smiled a beatific smile.

The woman stuttered slightly as she said, “This may sound weird, but I believe I’m supposed to give this to you.” She handed her that five dollar bill.

Eyes grew wide and the smile grew wider still. “This is a message straight from God that He is looking out for me and not to be discouraged.”

The older woman felt tears in her eyes. To have God speak to her and to be able to be a blessing to this young woman was all and more than she could have hoped for in this moment. She felt the stress of the day fade away. To be spoken to by God, to be his instrument, even in this small thing, and to be a part of blessing this lovely young woman, oh how humbling, oh how glorious…words failed her.

She reached out and hugged the young woman. Her, hugging a stranger! The day was filled with the miraculous, it seemed.

She told the young woman how that same bill had been given to her as a blessing and a reminder of God’s faithfulness the week before, right there in that parking lot, and while it was a small thing, she was so moved to be able to pass that blessing along to another.

The older woman finally left after another hug and a promise to pray for the young woman, wishing there was more that she could do for her. A quick check of her bank account said there was not. She was reminded in that moment, that this was not her situation to fix, but that God had allowed her to be a part, to see a moment of his blessing, and to watch one of his precious children receive a message from his loving heart.

What is┬áthe whole story? We have only a glimpse, a piece of the picture, to read a paragraph of the story that is woven in the lives of humanity. It’s tempting to write and explain and preach, but it’s all a mystery…and that’s okay.