“She was there, again. Every time I went to our local market, a woman with tousled graying hair and frayed clothing hung around the parking lot asking for change. Some shoppers would slip her a dollar, but I always tried to dodge her altogether, dropping my gaze to avoid making awkward eye contact. For all I knew, she was buying drugs with the cash she collected.
“The more I ignored her, though, the more I felt ashamed of myself. One afternoon as the guilt rose, I prayed for direction. You have what she needs. I shuddered at God’s whisper. How? I barely pay my own bills!
“Jarred by God’s nudge, I walked over to the woman, and her face lit up as I approached. ‘I know you!’ she cried. ‘I used to go to your church until bad times made me…well, not fit in.’
“I recognized her then. Her name was Brenda and she’d always sat in the last pew, lifting her hand in praise. When did she stop going? How could I have not noticed? How could she think any reason would make her not fit in? Overwhelmed, I hugged her tight and asked if she’d like to speak with the pastor. I knew we could help with whatever she was going through. Her eyes sparkled as she nodded and said simply, ‘You’re an answered prayer.’
“Brenda is now a regular in the choir and works in town at my brother’s diner. God showed me how wrong I’d been about giving—it didn’t matter how little I had to give because He made sure every ounce of love I gifted, returned to me tenfold.”
—Felicity Wellington, 52, Albany, NY