A few days ago I went to the grocery store to pick up a few things. On my way out a young man who was likely in his mid-20’s stopped me and asked if I wanted to buy any cds or dvds. I quickly replied “no” and began walking to my car and then for whatever reason I turned backed and asked him if he had a certain musician’s cd and he said yes. I have NEVER randomly bought something from someone in that fashion soliciting outside another place of business or on the street selling anything out of a car or anything even remotely similar to what took place that day so I have no idea why I was compelled to turn back and do this but for whatever reason I did. I was in a really good mood that day so maybe that had a bit to do with it. I remember as he was fishing through his book bag for the cd that I thought to myself “you know what I am glad that your hustle involves selling bootleg dvds and cds and not crack to little kids”. I honestly was thinking that.
He told me I could get 3 cds for $10 but I really only wanted one. I gave him $5 and told him not to worry about the change. I am smiling already thinking about bobbing my head as I made my way to work. I get into my car and put the cd in and get an error message and the cdplayer rejects the cd (this has happened before in my car when trying to play a burnt cd) I thought to myself , no worries I will save the songs on my computer and then burn myself my own copy. I was mildly upset because I was looking forward to listening to it in the car. But soon enough after a little effort on my part I would have my own cd.
When I got home that evening and settled in, I put the cd in my computer and a message came up asking me what would I like to do for the blank disk. BLANK DISK? Say what! I looked around the room because surely Ashton Kutcher was going to pop out and inform me that I was being punked. This did not happen. No Ashton and definitely no songs on my super blank disk. I was very upset. I just paid $5 for a blank disk. I could have got some Zaxby’s that I was craving but didn’t want to spend the money on. So work with me here, I played about 5 scenarios in my head of me telling this guy off. In scenario #5 after telling him off I told him I felt bad for him.
This is where the frustration changed for me. I did feel bad about what happened. Not only for myself and the fact that I was duped. I felt bad because of whatever situation would bring someone to the point where they would sell someone a blank cd. Did he have kids to feed? Was his mom in dire need of medication for a serious illness? Did he need gas money to get to his low paying night job? So many questions about how bad his situation could be came to mind. Then I got sad and I said a prayer for him. Hoping that the money blessed him in a big way. I also prayed that whatever situation he was in he could find a better way to deal with it. The next morning I decided that I wanted to talk to him and let him know that I said a prayer for him. I got dressed and went to the grocery store to see if he was lingering out front by any chance. Of course he wasn’t there. Probably not best to hang around the exact spot where you did a not so nice thing. Anyway I was really hoping to see him-to say that I am not mad and that I understand that things could get tough and that feeling of esperation like you have no way out is difficult to deal with. I understand that at times it could cause someone to do the unthinkable. Sometimes on a small scale like what happened to me or sometimes on a much larger “guess who’s on the 6’0 clock news” kind of way. I’m definitely not one to just run up on someone and hit them with the Jesus speech. So it wasn’t going to go give him a sermon. In my head I just imagined that I could bless him with some kind words and say I forgive you.
I just wanted to share this story to encourage people to bless others despite what they have done to you. I think this was God’s way of reminding me that it doesn’t matter what happens that shouldn’t change who I am. Let my heart remain pure and not harbor offense. Let things go and continue to bless others even if they have hurt me, disappointed me or brought unsavory circumstances my way. In Romans 12:14 we are challenged to “Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them.” (New Living Translation) I encourage you to meditate on this. I sincerely believe that people need incentive to change. Kind words definitely promote wanting to do better than if we offer people judgements or criticisms.
For that young man out there and all of you, I hope the blessings overflow today and always.
One day at a time,