Brenda was cute, had a good paying job, had many friends; she thought she had it all. She grew up in a middle-class family. School came easy. She was the youngest of two children.
Upon graduation, she was without work very little time before she was accepted into a secretarial position with a well-known company. She worked hard and the company noticed and moved her up until finally she had her own corner office with large windows looking out over the California bay.
She walked to work many days because she could reach her destination quicker than going by car. She had to pass a lower class of people on her way to work. She wasn’t afraid; but she was cautious, often thinking if these people spent as much time cleaning themselves up as they did sitting on curbs and benches; they would be working, at least part-time.
This one particular day she was walking through the poor neighborhood. It was dark and dreary. It had rained but the sun had not come out to dry the sidewalks off yet. She came upon a lump or a bump in the middle of her path.
It was covered with wet cardboard and streams of water were dripping from each fold. She stopped at the edge, startled, as she couldn’t help but notice the bright light that seemed to shine brightly down upon this matter that was taking up space.
She put her hand over her forehead to shield the light. Her eyes began to water from the sting of brightness. The entire neighborhood seemed to freeze. The air was still. The birds became silent. Buses and cars came to a halt.
All was silent. Then softly and with a song of lightness two hands came down from within the clouds. They scooped her up into the hands. She couldn’t stop it. She couldn’t speak. Her heart was not racing. She felt calmness around her.
Higher and higher she was lifted until she could barely make out the golden doors of heaven. Soft breezes blew through her hair and she was placed upon a cloud and a voice became firm but clear.
” I have blessed you over and over my child. Never have you spoken the words thank-you or given to anyone else as I have given to you. It is now time for you to return the kindness I have placed upon your life. You shall go back and think about your life and what you have been given. I want you to pay it forward; help someone else who is having a hard life. Do you understand my child? Nothing on the earth is free. You must always do what is right”.
The arms lifted her back into the soft folds of love and sat her back down where she had been standing. People came to life. Buses and cars once again raced through the streets.
She looked at the cardboard which now had light spots where it was drying. The thing underneath came to life and stirred. Tossing the wetness away from him, he sat up and looked around and then came eye to eye with her.
Without a word, she extended her hand and he reached for it, standing a good 3 inches above her. He wobbled as if he was going to fall. ” Are you hungry sir”? All he could do was shake his head. She held on to his hand and he followed her as she led him through the doors of the Corner Cafe.