I haven’t done a mission — like, a full-fledged, props-and-all, planned-out mission — in a while. But the other day, while doing a little shopping after work, a mission presented itself.
I was standing in line waiting to pay at a local thrift store. I was off in my own world, sorting out what I’d done that day and thinking ahead to the next day’s schedule. I didn’t notice what was happening in front of me until the cashier’s voice caught my ear and I heard her say, “I’ll hold these here for you and you can come back later today or tomorrow when you have the money.”
I started focusing on the group in front of me: a woman who looked about 40 was in charge of taking three developmentally challenged adult men shopping for clothes. After digging through her purse, she evidently didn’t have the money to cover what was packed into a very large, overstuffed bag. She explained to the men they would have to come back later, and they silently followed her out of the store.
I stepped up to the counter for my turn. The cashier rung up my two tiny finds: $3.16. I actually felt as though I was intruding when I said, “May I ask how much she owed on her bill?” The cashier looked at the slip and said, “$39.88.” It was more than I expected to hear, but less than I’d spend on a dinner out. Almost before I knew what my plan was, I said, “I’d like to pay for it.”
The cashier added the woman’s bill to my total and I handed her my credit card. I didn’t have a ninja calling card to leave behind this time; there were no photos to take for the blog, and it didn’t matter. I’ve been feeling pretty grateful lately, yet I hadn’t taken the time to pay it forward recently. I consider this my catch-up.