paying it forward

i’m not sure what it is about me, but for whatever reason, i am always amazed by the sheer number of people who stop me on the street to ask for directions.

today was no exception.

after spending my lunch hour walking around downtown catching up with a friend, as i was heading back to my office a woman stopped me on the street not more fifteen seconds after i had parted ways with said friend.

“excuse me, can you provide me with directions?” she asked, carrying a large box.

the exchange continued for a little while as i informed her that i had a good idea where place X was, but that i’d better look it up on my phone just to be sure (i would hate to give someone wrong directions, after all).

i apologized for my slow phone (3G), and she laughed as she pulled out her flip phone saying, “that’s quite alright!”

after confirming which direction she needed to head and providing her with the address for her destination she thanked me as i smiled and began to walk away.

“i’ll pay it forward!” she shouted, turning to me.

i smiled at that.  what a beautiful thing to say.

chances are, i will never cross paths with this woman again so she will not be able to “return the favor”, but she can bless someone else with help along the way and that (in my opinion) is just as – if not more-so – beautiful.

traveling mercies,


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