Steve and I have been preparing to attend a youth conference with the youth from our church. We’ve got a laundry list of things that need to be done and we’re slowly marking them off our list.

Today, Steve was willing to run a few of the errands for me. One of which took him to WinCo. I love WinCo so I’m not sure how it is possible that Steve has never been to one. I get several calls from him while he was shopping and we concluded our conversation as he made his way to the register. Shortly later I got an urgent and somewhat frustrated phone call from him.

“They don’t take credit cards! I don’t remember my pin and I have no cash.” He was not happy. It totally slipped my mind that he would need cash. I could tell he was flustered and I quickly jumped online to try and help him get a new pin.

He explained to me that he was in line, the cashier rang up all of his items and it wasn’t until he tried paying that he realized he couldn’t pay. The cashier sent him to the service desk to try and figure out a payment. He was at the service desk when he called me. We were walking through different scenarios to figure out the payment when I could tell Steve was talking to someone else. He quickly told me he needed to go.

A few minutes later he called me back. “You are not going to believe what just happened. The lady behind me in line paid for my items.” He was standing in the service counter line talking to me when the cashier approached him with a receipt telling him the lady paid for him. Steve ran after the lady trying to explain that he’s really not in need of money, he just didn’t know he needed his pin number to shop there. Steve opened his wallet and only had a 20 dollar bill, which was not enough to pay for the items in full, but at least a partial repayment to her. She wouldn’t accept it. Steve assured her, he had money, and there were other people that could use her generosity. She just told him to pay it forward.

How awesome is that?! The cashier told Steve that it happens more often than you’d think – people paying for others. (Probably at this store especially considering they’re limited on their payment options.) This stranger paid for Steve’s items without much thought and we couldn’t stop talking about her tonight. Steve came home and told the kids about his experience and they were just as impressed. A highlight from the day.

We will definitely heed her suggestion and pay it forward. It was a gentle reminder that we are surrounded by good, caring people and to always look out for others in need.