"Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?"
The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him."
Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."
Amy stares in disbelief at her car's smoking engine. The hose has cracked and all the coolant has leaked out. Her hand trembles as she makes the call to the car repair shop near her home. Her eyes brim with tears.
"Lord, why this? Why, now?"
For the past year, Amy's life has been one struggle after another. When she is laid off by her employer, she manages to string together some temporary jobs while seeking a permanent one.
But, in this economy, these are few and far between. Every day, is a challenge for Amy to make ends meet. To keep a roof over her head and the bills paid. There isn't any wiggle room in her budget.
How will she manage to pay for the car's repair?
"Please, God, please help me figure out how to do this . . . please . . ." Amy prays over and over while waiting for the tow truck to come to the rescue.
When she finally arrives home, Amy tells several of her neighbors about her car trouble. They all tell her how badly they feel for her situation. All show genuine empathy toward her predicament.
But, only one decides to do something about it . . .
The next day, Amy walks the short distance to Scott's Auto Center to retrieve her vehicle. The bill is a whopping $500. She doesn't have that much in her checking account and will have to use her charge card. The one she is trying desperately to pay down. And, just can't seem to make headway.
"But, if I don't have a car, I can't look for work," she sighs. "I have to believe everything will be okay in the long run."
Amy approaches the service desk and introduces herself to the attendant. He smiles warmly and hands her the bill.
Stamped in bold red letters at the top of the sheet, Amy reads the word "PAID".
"What???" she cries in amazement. "Who paid my bill?"
"Anonymous," replies the attendant, still grinning. "It seems you have a guardian angel."
A guardian angel . . . The words repeat in Amy's head the entire drive home. But, who? Who is my angel? Who could it be?
As she pulls into her driveway, Amy spies her next-door neighbor, Michelle, pruning rose bushes. A devout Catholic . . . always doing things for her family, her friends, and even strangers . . .
In a flash, Amy sees Michelle's wings and halo. She leaps from the car, bill in hand, and races over to where Michelle is hard at work.
"Thank you, thank you, dear Michelle!" Amy exclaims as she waves the bill excitedly. "How can I ever thank you enough for this?"
"For what?" Michelle asks, looking up. When she sees the receipt in Amy's hand, she blushes. "They weren't supposed to tell you who paid."
"They didn't!" Amy assures her. "I spied you out here when I drove up, and I just knew! You certainly didn't have to do this. Why did you?"
Michelle looks Amy right in the eye.
"Because, my dear, I know you will pay it forward when life improves for you."
How have you shown mercy to a neighbor in need?
Will you pray with me?
We thank You, Father, for Your guardian angels who give us protection and show us mercy. Let us show mercy to those in need. May we always be willing to pay it forward when we are able. Amen.