We were assigning Saturday chores one weekend and Hallie and Bennett were chosen to take the cars to be washed and then clean them out and vacuum them.

It seemed like a simple enough task, but with three cars it took surprisingly longer than I anticipated. On their third round to the car wash, hot and sweaty, they were working on Hallie’s car. She keeps a clean car, but life is messy and they were making it look good.

There was a man cleaning his car in the next stall and he noticed Bennett and Hallie working together. Hallie recognized him from the community, but couldn’t place him. Before long, he pulled out a $20 and gave it to Bennett for being a great brother and helping his sister clean her car. I’m sure there was a wave of guilt that washed over Bennett as he knew very well this was an assignment and not something he voluntarily signed up for. He tried repeatedly to deny the money, but the man insisted. So Bennett walked away $20 for doing his chores.

When they got home, they relayed Bennett’s good fortune at the car wash and then described the man who gave him the money. Steve and I immediately knew who it was. Although we’ve crossed paths several times within our community, he wouldn’t have any idea who are children are. And yet his kindness was touching. I’m not sure what made him notice Hallie and Bennett that afternoon at the carwash but something tells me he was searching out someone to recognize and Bennett caught his attention. I’m grateful for his kindness because Bennett will always remember the day a stranger gave him money at the car wash. And it was a great reminder to me of the importance of paying it forward.