Not a stranger — but a friend

October 16, 2008 | 6 comments

My girls and and I began packing the box a few days ago. We didn’t know where it would go. Perhaps the local Food Pantry. Or a local agency that accepts donations like these. Not sure where it would land. Only knew that we wanted to do our part.

Then the phone call came last night. The caller was a school employee in a town near where I live. The caller told me that the mother of a student was struggling. The mother was a working woman. Wanted to support her family. Had a steady job. Wasn’t inclined to accept charity.

But she was struggling. She needed help.

It’s times like these when God is as close as your heartbeat, as near as each breath.

The school employee in my ear. The box on the kitchen floor. The woman in need. My daughter’s prayer: “Thank you God, that you help us to help people.”

It doesn’t get much more obvious than this.

So at 10:30 a.m. this morning, my four-year-old and I finished packing the box, added a few Laundromat quarters, gift certificates and crayon drawings, then headed to the town where the woman lived. We showed up at the school with the box.

The school employee skipped out on the first part of a meeting to greet me at the principal’s office. She showed me a picture of the student in the school yearbook because, she said, “it’s important for a giver to know who will receive.”

I left the box in the office, along with a note for the woman and her son.

I want to tell you this. This woman has become more than a “Blog Action Day” project for me. Today, this woman in need is my friend. She is not my charity project. She is not a stranger.

I have not met her; but she is my friend.

And here’s the letter I wrote to my new friend:

Dear Friend,

For the last several days, my 4-year-old daughter and I have been putting together a box of food, lotion, body scrub and other things, knowing that God would provide a place to take it.

Last night, we found out that you might be able to use these things. We hope that you will accept this small gift, as an act of love in the name of Jesus.

I know from experience how hard it can be to accept a gift from someone. In my own time of need, I never wanted to be someone’s “charity” case. I want you to know this: you are not my charity project. I’m just someone who is “paying it forward.” In the worldly sense, we are total strangers. But for today, we are friends.

If, when you receive this box today, you determine that you don’t need any of it, please feel free to give it to someone else in need. But if you choose to accept it, know that it was given in love. It’s just a small reminder of how great our God is, and how He extends His grace to us everyday.

Be blessed, dear one!

by | October 16, 2008 | 6 comments


  1. gabi dickinson

    I'm Gabi and am brand new to the world of blogging. I hope you don't mind me reading your blog. Please keep writing, you're inspiring& blessing me more than you know through what He writes through you 🙂 You are more than welcome to read/comment my blog anytime, I'd love to hear from you!

  2. gabi dickinson

    Thankyou so much for the lovely comment! Is it OK if I subscribe to your blog? And it’s wonderful to meet you too! 🙂

  3. Jennifer Dukes Lee

    Hi Gabi! I’d love to have you here in the neighborhood, as often as you’d like. I’ll be venturing to your neck of the woods, too. I see you’re on High Calling Blogs. Welcome! It’s a great community. I just started blogging, too, about 3 months ago. It’s just a wonderful outlet.

  4. spaghettipie

    Jennifer, loved the post and loved your idea even more. So amazing that when you act in faith that God provides the opportunities. And what a precious, precious note! Thanks for sharing what you’re doing.

  5. gabi dickinson

    Thanks so much! Well I’ve now subscribed to you 🙂 Feel free to subscribe to mine too if you would like to. I just joined High Callings, so thankyou for the welcome 🙂
    Actually this is a shameful plug, but my best friend just started a blog too and doesn’t know anyone. If you’re interested in reading hers is:

  6. Ruth Hull Chatlien

    This is a wonderful story of how God can bring people together. Thank you for posting it.

    And thank you for visiting my blog the other day. I say that we’re both writers. Blessings on your work.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest