The Hundred-Dollar Angel

IMG_4116I don’t know his name; he declined to tell me when I asked. But last Tuesday, this special man helped me remember the true meaning of Christmas.

As you all know, I’m a part-time crossing guard. Every school-day morning and afternoon, I make sure that walking middle- and elementary-school students get safely across busy intersections. When one of  the kids or a passerby thanks me for doing what I do, I’m always humbled and grateful.

This man, however, thanked me in a way I’ll never forget.

While I was standing on the sidewalk, he pulled his car to the side of the road and rolled down the window. I thought he needed directions (Yes, in this age of GPS, people still ask me for directions.), so I peered at him through the passenger-side window and said hello.

He stuffed something into my hand and said, “For standing outside in the weather every day.”

I looked down and saw a tightly-folded bill—I  suspect he’d hoped to be gone before I had a chance to unfold it and see the denomination. But the fold loosened in my grip, revealing a “100” in the corner. My eyes widened and I leaned through the window. “I can’t take this; it’s too much!”

But with an embarrassed smile, he insisted.

I stared at him. “Who are you?”

I think the directness of my question caught him off guard, because he mumbled something about that not being important, waved good-bye, and sped away.

Back on the sidewalk, I wiped away tears. As I stood there, reflecting upon what this kind man had given me, I realized that although he’d handed me one gift—albeit a big one—he’d blessed me with so many more. He’d noticed little old me crossing kids every day and had sacrificed his time and treasure to make me feel appreciated. And amidst the frenzy of Christmas preparations, he reminded me to encourage the people who touch my own life—whether I’m acquainted with them or not.

My hundred-dollar angel inspired me to follow his example and let people know that I see them and care about them. Like our big God showed us, through Jesus.

 After all, isn’t that what Christmas is all about?

Jesus 3

To you, my dear readers, may the wonder of our Savior’s birth fill your hearts with joy.

Merry Christmas!

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