An Easter of Love

On Easter Friday it somehow slipped my mind that it was Easter Friday.  We had just seen a movie, when we suddenly pulled over, and I was asked to run and pick up a submarine sandwich.  Quickly flying out of the car, I was lost at first, especially as I have very poor vision, and I had never been to this Subway in my life.

I went in, and a lady was at the till, waiting to pay; her hair was receding, but she had an attractive figure, and I wondered what condition caused her hair, which was tied in a tight ponytail, to recede so much. I stood beside her as she dug into her purse for some change.  I noticed she may have had hardships, but her face was soft.  The look on her face was gentle and kind.  There was a slight look of concern on her face as she dug for money in her purse.  And when I saw her digging in her purse for every last coin, I announced I would pay for her meal.

She said, “Why are you doing that?  Why?!” I told her she looked sweet and kind, and God wanted me to do this for her.  Her eyes watered, and she said that she burnt dinner, that her son wanted food, and that the money for the sub was all she had for the weekend.  And then she said, “God bless you.” And I said, “Maybe this money is from God, not me.  I have the honor of delivering it to you.” I tried to think of a way to give her extra cash, but I only had my debit card, and I knew no banking machine nearby.

I told her she was a good mom, and tears formed in her eyes.  “But I burnt his dinner,” she said.  I told her, “If I had a choice between a mom who made perfect dinners and had billions of dollars but no love versus a mom who burnt my dinner but was filled with love—your love—I’d take the mom who burnt my dinner any day.” And she repeated, “Who burnt the dinner.”

And then I said, “When we leave this world, the only thing we take is love.  We don’t take material objects, feasts, submarines, none of it.  Just the love, which you are filled with.” Her eyes were watery, and she said something I can’t recall, and I replied, “What do you think this all is? I bought your dinner because I could see the love.  You came all the way here to spend your last bit of money to feed your son.  The look on your face is love.  You are filled with love.” I wondered how I could help her more, wishing I had cash.  The woman said she’d pay it forward.  I said she paid it forward enough with her service to her son. She didn’t seem to hear me and repeated, “I could pay it forward.” Her face looked like innocence.  I paused and then agreed with her, as any act of generosity is a beautiful gift of love, and her generosity would bring her closer to the light.  The woman looked so beautiful in her heartfelt suffering.  Her eyes welled over with tears, and she left the store with her sandwich.

And then I remembered it was Easter Friday.  And I realized she probably had Saturday and Sunday to feed her son before she got paid.  I hoped she had food for Sunday, and I wished I had asked her if she wanted me to pay for more subs to take home and soups.  I felt the pain of a missed opportunity.

Later, I remembered a story I saw in a news video.  It was about a woman starving with her children at a hotel, and they had no food for the Thanksgiving holiday.  A woman invited her family for dinner, and they feasted that holiday.  The woman who invited them seemed to know personal details about the hungry woman she couldn’t have known.  And when the hungry woman went to return the next day to say thanks, she discovered the hotel room had been empty, and no one had occupied it.  If I recall correctly, the room was undergoing renovations.  It was a story about angels narrated by John Boy Walton for those fortunate enough to have seen his shows.

I wish I could’ve given that woman and her son a big feast.  It’s Easter Sunday, and I hope they had something to eat today.  I wish I would’ve been on the ball and given more.  I had forgotten it was Easter Friday and that the month was ending.  I do a task and can barely tell if it has taken me ten minutes or three hours to finish.  And a one-week holiday feels like six months to me.  In other words, I don’t have the best sense of time.

We will all have those moments when someone in line in front of us is scrounging for change or must put something they can’t afford back.  Or we see someone sitting against a building with a white sheet over his head.  It’s moments like these that I believe God calls us.  We feel it tugging at our hearts to do something.  Those moments draw us and those we support closer to the light.  The woman’s soul was more beautiful than an eternal choir of angels in her magnitude of love.  And my little act of kindness was God’s way to turn a burnt dinner on Easter Friday into the realization that she, like all of us, is pure love.  And I believe nothing can truly hurt us, as we are all eternal souls of pure love.  Nothing can hurt pure, unconditional love.  Nothing.