Chain of love
He was driving home one evening on a two-lane country road. Work, in this small mid-western US community, was almost as slow as his beat-up Pontiac was. Ever since the factory closed, he’d been unemployed. And with winter raging on, the chill had finally hit home.
It was starting to get dark, and light snow flurries were coming down. He’d better get a moving on.
He almost didn’t see the old lady, stranded on the side of the road. But he could see she needed help. So he pulled up in front of her Mercedes.
Even with the smile on his face, she was worried. No one had stopped to help so far. Was he going to hurt her? He didn’t look safe; he looked poor and hungry. He could see that she was frightened, standing out there in the cold.
He said, “I’m here to help you ma’am. Why don’t you wait in the car where it’s warm? By the way, my name is Joe.”
She had a flat tyre. Joe crawled under the car looking for a place to put the jack, skinning his knuckles a time or two. Soon he was able to change the tyre. As he was tightening up the lug nuts, she rolled down her window and began to talk to him. She told him that she was from a town nearby and was only just passing through. She couldn’t thank him enough for coming to her aid. Joe just smiled as he closed her trunk.
She asked him how much she owed him. She had already imagined all the awful things that could have happened had he not stopped. Joe never thought twice about the money. This was not a job to him. This was helping someone in need. He told her that if she really wanted to pay him back, the next time she saw someone who needed help, she could give that person the assistance that they needed, and Joe added “... and think of me”.
It had been a cold and depressing day, but he felt good as he headed for home, disappearing into the twilight. A few miles down the road the lady saw a small cafe. She went in to grab a bite to eat.
Her waitress came over and brought her a clean towel to wipe her wet hair. She had a sweet smile, one that even being on her feet for the whole day couldn’t erase. The lady noticed the waitress was nearly eight months pregnant, but she never let the strain and aches change her attitude. The old lady wondered how someone who had so little could be so giving to a stranger. Then she remembered Joe.
After the lady finished her meal, and the waitress went to get her change from a hundred-dollar bill, the lady slipped right out the door. She was gone by the time the waitress came back. She wondered where the lady could be, and then she noticed something written on a napkin. There were tears in her eyes, when she read what the lady wrote. It said, “You don’t owe me a thing. Someone once helped me out, the way I’m helping you. If you really want to pay me back, don’t let the chain of love end with you.”
Well, there were tables to clear, sugar bowls to fill, and people to serve, but the waitress made it through another day. That night when she got home from work and climbed into bed, she was thinking what the lady had written. How could she have known how much she and her husband needed the money? With the baby due next month, it was going to be hard. She knew how worried her husband was, and as he lay sleeping next to her, she gave him a soft kiss and whispered soft and low, “Everything’s going to be alright; I love you, Joe.” — Author Unknown