The Best Way to Repay Someone

I used to know a woman whom  I think was the most generous person I have ever met.  She was blessed with a tremendous financial endowment, but would have given the shirt off of her back even if she had nothing.  Not only did she give significant financial support to dozens of organizations, she gave her time to countless causes and people.  In the course of my relationship with her, she was exceedingly generous to me (and to Doug as well).  Paid trips to visit their homes in Colorado, California and Hawaii.  Gifts "just because", prime seats to sporting and cultural events, dinners at some of THE most exclusive restaurants in the US.    If she had a thought that we would even remotely enjoy something, we would be invited and given royal treatment if we chose to participate.  I mean these folks were so blessed that they bought a share of a private jet so that their pup could fly in the cabin of the plane instead of in the cargo hold of a commercial airliner when they went to their homes in other places.

But more importantly, my friend from long ago generously listened to everything I had to say, no matter how uninteresting it may have been to hear.  She saw me through a really rough relationship, and was there to celebrate when I found Mr. Right.  She gave me solid council on everything from cooking and cleaning to dating, marriage, and how to pray myself up when I was feeling down.

I'm not sure how or why this amazing woman chose to share her blessings with me.  I always tried to be gracious and show my gratitude, but it always felt inadequate.  One day when I was visiting her at her home in Houston, she asked me why we had been declining invitations lately and wanted to know if she had done something wrong.  I burst into tears and told her that we just didn't feel right about taking advantage of her and that we were so unworthy of all that she had done for us and given us.  She gently gathered me into a nice big hug and said that she never wanted or expected to be repayed, but if it bothered me so much that the best way for me to repay her was to strive to do nice things for someone else.  Whether it was holding a door open for someone, paying a compliment, giving a hug, praying for someone, or just listening when someone needed to talk. 

Her generosity was not about money -- it was about recognizing that she was blessed to be a blessing to someone else.  Her character blessed me more than her money ever did.

So, consider all of the nice things people have done for you over the course of your lifetime.  Maybe the best way to repay them is by doing something nice for someone else today.

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