I'm one of those grocery store shoppers who never lets her purse out of her sight. Too many people. Too many sticky fingers. And if you're like me, the story going round the interwebs of an Oklahoma mom whose wallet got stolen in the grocery store will give you goosebumps. Jessica Eaves didn't call the police. She bought the wallet thief groceries.
Now, I know what you're (probably) thinking. She must be one of those do gooder types.
And you're right! The mother of four and full-time college student told Yahoo! Shine she volunteers 12 hours a week at a Christian Outreach facility.
Total do gooder.
And totally inspiring.
Turns out Eaves realized her wallet was missing, and after she tracked down the culprit in the store, she gave him a choice. Give back the wallet, and she'd buy his groceries. If he didn't give it back, she'd call the cops.
Eaves says he opted for door number one, and confessed he was flat broke and had kids at home. He apologized; and she ended up spending $27 to buy a father and his kids some food.
Or you could say she spent $27 to change a life.
Maybe he went on to just take someone else's wallet. Who knows. But something inside me says nah, the human kindness here mattered. The fact that someone did something so extraordinary MATTERED.
How often do you really feel like you have a positive affect on the other people you run into day after day?
Sure, maybe you smile or you hold the door for someone. But do you actually go out of your way to do something, something that might make you uncomfortable? Do you go out of your way to change your perceptions of people?
I'll own up. I don't. I try to give people the benefit of the doubt, but going that extra mile, actually loving the sinner? That's hard, y'all!
And if you asked me yesterday what I would have done if someone stole my wallet in the grocery store, my answer would be "call the cops."
Maybe it still would be. I guess it depends on the situation. But this is where Jessica Eaves' story changes me -- could change us all -- my view of the "situation" is broader now. It isn't just about my wallet. It's about the person who stole my wallet, about finding out why they stole my wallet.
She reached out, and what she learned was this was someone who needed help, someone who made a mistake but who had redeeming qualities in the end.
Still not convinced? OK, selfish, let's take it from Jessica Eaves's side.
She could have gone through the whole pain in the butt process of calling the cops and filing a report. Maybe her wallet would have been taken to process as evidence. Maybe she would have had to deal with interviews from cops and had this whole thing drag on and on.
Instead she got this whole thing over with in probably 10 minutes, 15 tops, and she walked out of that grocery store feeling GOOD about herself. She bought some poor kids some groceries! She made someone else's life BETTER.
How often do you say that?
Have you ever judged someone only to find out you should have gone easy on them? What happened?
Image via Kate Ter Haar/Flickr