My hubby and I are hosting another session of Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University beginning January 15th, 2016. I'm a huge fan of "my buddy Dave" and the philosophies he teaches about money. If you are not familiar with Dave, he teaches about being debt free, personal responsibility, and work, in a nutshell. His teachings are based on truths taught in the Bible. (Yes, the Bible has a lot to say about money.) While this will be our 2nd session as hosts of FPU, and our third time taking it, we are not yet out of debt. We're making progress, but sometimes it's two steps forward, and one step back...let me explain a bit more.
Today is New Year's Eve. I had to work at my job today. We weren't closed. I wasn't super excited to work when so many others have the day off, but it is what it is, so I went to work. I was reminded of the necessity of my continued employment at my day job just yesterday when my husband told me that our bank account was overdrafted to the tune of several hundred dollars. Ugh. I had miscalculated. The good news is that we had money in savings (that's progress from where we have been in the past!) to be able to transfer and honor the monetary commitments we had made.
Fast forward to today. I was helping an elderly patient with her glasses order. When we got to the end of the order, I asked her in my customary verbage if she wanted to pay for all of it or just half. Her reply was explain that she couldn't pay anything because she had just gotten out of the hospital and has "bills out the yin yang." No worries. We can wait to place the order until she is ready. We don't have to do anything today.
"Do you take credit cards?" The sinking feeling in my stomach was real when I replied,"Yes."
"Well, I'll just pay with my credit card then." I don't love for people to pay their glasses with a credit card, but it happens frequently enough that I've become a bit calloused to it. This one didn't set well with me, though. The thought that ran through my mind was of my jacked up bank account...that I didn't have enough extra in it to pay this bill for someone else. But God was working. There was another patient waiting in the room down the hall.
As I returned with the receipt for my patient, the woman who had been in the room down the hall emerged with a slightly distraught look on her face.
"Are you helping this lady?" she asked me.
"Yes," I tentatively answered.
"I know this sounds strange, but God told me to come out here. I heard her talking about her situation and He told me to come help. How much is her bill?" I looked at my patient.
"Are you ok with this conversation?" She nodded that she was, so I told the new visitor the total. You can see where this is going...
"I want to pay for it." The welcome visitor proceeded to tell us in a gentle, kind way that she was raised to respect her elders and honor them; that life is too short to not be silly and honest; that getting old is not for sissies; that just because you get older, doesn't mean you have to be a geezer about it; that when God wants to bless someone, and we don't listen, He'll find another way to do it. She said that. She didn't know me from Adam. She obviously didn't know what I had been thinking, and I hadn't expressed my unrest about my patient using credit to pay for her order to anyone. She just listened to the prompting of the Holy Spirit and obeyed. It was beautiful...really beautiful.
She hugged my sweet, shocked patient and told her this gift was from God and she wanted to honor her for living her life and going ahead of others. It was so precious. I just sat there dumbfounded and ferklempt. I have had generous people pay for others' glasses before, but I've never had a stranger walk up and pay like this. It was beyond generous. It was love--for a complete and total stranger. The funny thing is that while I'm sure my patient was thoroughly blessed by the kind act, I feel like I was the one who it was intended for. As I get my finances in order and get myself out of the way, what beautiful blessings will I be able to bestow upon complete strangers? There is no telling what may come and no limit, either. God is good, friends.
That is how my 2015 wrapped up. How can I go anywhere except up after that? How will you bless those around you in 2016? Have a beautiful new year. I pray that you see the blessings and gifts God has for you and those around you.