Passing It Forward

by Jenny Harrison

“You may be only one person in this world, but to one person at one time, you are the world.”

I was sitting at my desk scoring tests and finishing reports when I heard the sweet voice of one of my students. We had visited earlier in the week about an issue that seemed to be causing him distress.

“Mrs. Jenny, I wanted to say thank you for helping me the other day. I tried some of the stuff we talked about and everything is better now. Thanks for listening to me.”

It was certainly my pleasure and all in a day’s work for a counselor. I was glad that listening to him and offering a morsel of advice was helpful.

However, it was the next statement from this precious young man that will be forever etched in my memory. “Mrs. Jenny, I want to do something to pay you back for helping me. “I assured him that while I appreciated the sentiment, it was not necessary to repay me in any way, but he was persistent, and I saw the seriousness  in his tone and demeanor.

At that moment, I realized that receiving compensation for what appeared to be a small deed was not important to me, but the ability to give back was extremely significant to him.

As we spoke, I remembered a conversation I had as a young lady with my loving aunt. More than once I was the recipient of her helpfulness and kindness. I remembered a particular conversation between us that went something like this:

Daniel Harrison (Jenny's son) working with his Christian brothers in Choluteca, Honduras.

Daniel Harrison (Jenny’s son) working with his Christian brothers in Choluteca, Honduras.

“In a million years, I could never repay you for all you have done for me,” I said to my aunt. She replied, “If you want to repay me then find someone in need, and pass these kindnesses and good deeds forward. This will be a gift that will continue to give for generations to come. Your acts of kindness toward someone else is all the payment I shall ever need.”

I shared my aunt’s wisdom with my student and encouraged him to continue to pass forward acts of kindness. He seemed satisfied with my request.

Throughout the school year, I quietly observed him speak kind words to others and willingly lend a helping hand.

My pay-back from my student was worth more than any worldly possession. The wheels were in motion. Praise God! Life is good!

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
2 Corinthians 1:3,4 (NIV84)

Copyright © 2012, Jenny Harrison, all rights reserved, Breath of Life Women’s Ministries. Bible scripture taken from New International Version 84.

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