TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (30)Good people do live in my midst!  We’re getting ready for a garage sale later this month and spent a day preparing the garage for the tables, racks, etc.  The worst thing that can happen at a garage sale is when someone wants to buy something that you are not selling.  The solution is to cover everything that you want to keep with a tarp.

We were working in the garage when along comes our neighbor.  He’s a very pleasant man, friendly and hard-working.  He owns a farm just outside Wichita as well as a home in our little community.  He asked if our riding lawn mower was for sale.  My husband told him it was.  They worked out the details and our big -ticket item was sold.

Seems cut and dried, doesn’t it?  We get money and he gets the rider to use out on his farm.

The story’s not finished.  Here’s the cool part.

Yesterday was the open air market at our extension office.  Most of the vendors have stopped coming because summer is over.  We stopped to look around a bit, not expecting to find much.  There was our neighbor with the last of his vegetable crop – and it looked delicious, I must say.

Without saying a word, he bagged up most of what he had left and handed it to us.

He has absolutely NO idea what he did.  We have vegetables to put in our freezer for winter.  Our freezer was empty – now it’s full.  I think I know what the squirrels must feel like – collecting and filling their little homes with food for the winter months.

He told us it was a bonus payment on the mower.  We laughed.  I wanted to cry tears of joy.

But here’s the thing…  my dad had a garden every year and grew all the vegetables our neighbor does.  We’ve been buying vegetables at the market – but let’s face it, they just are not homegrown.  They don’t taste the same.

I’m sitting here now eating fried okra, crying tears of happiness.  It’s like a taste of home, to be honest.  This small gesture touched my heart and took me back home for just a little while.

This journey called life is filled with a little pain and a little sorrow, but once in a while, a neighbor does something that renews your faith in humans.  I could never thank him enough for that – not without crying, anyway.  It’s more than okra – it’s closing my eyes and going back to a late summer / early fall meal with my parents.  How do you thank someone for that?it-is-more-than-just-okra

I know it’s just a simple little story, but isn’t our life here on the planet about paying it forward?  It’s about sharing your bounty with those who are not farmers or gardeners.  Our neighbor would certainly have not had to do that.

I thank him not only for the food, but also for the wonderful memories that food sparked in me.  And as always, I’m so very grateful to God for making it all happen!  🙂




I don’t just pay it forward, I throw a free prayer in with the deal. – Linda Palmer

What a unique day I have had! We are having a garage sale now and day one has gone quite well. I did manage to leave the garage for just a few minutes from time to time to check what’s going on in facebook land and check my email and so forth.

A friend and I are going to have breakfast soon and she sent me a note that said, “I want to buy your breakfast this week, but you have to promise me that you will PAY IT FORWARD.” I smiled and shot her a reply that said, “You bet I will – and there will be a free prayer thrown in with the payment!”

The day went along and I didn’t think much more about the email. I decided to go see my hair stylist to get my hair trimmed. I walked in expecting to be charged for the service. When she got done she said, “I’m not going to charge you this time – it didn’t take me five minutes – but you have to promise to PAY IT FORWARD!”

Am I racking up some debt here, or WHAT??? I thanked her and said, “You bet I will – and there will be a free prayer thrown in with the payment!” I headed out the door and began wondering how I would do all of this paying forward.

I got back to the house and one of our neighbors was looking at what we had for sale. He saw me walking toward the garage and smiled and said, “I’ve got something out in my car for you.” He motioned for me to follow him. When we got to the car, he picked up a bag of the most beautiful home-grown tomatoes I’ve ever seen. I thanked him for them and asked how much I owe. You already know where this is going, don’t you? He said, “Oh, no charge, just PAY IT FORWARD.” I was grinning from ear to ear and said, “You bet I will – and there will be a free prayer thrown in with the payment!”

If everyone throws in free prayers for the people they are helping, I imagine I have been more than sufficiently prayed for today. I feel so very blessed in so many ways today. Thank you, LORD for the wonderful people in my life! 🙂