One day a man saw an old lady stranded on the side of the road, with a flat tire on her Mercedes. So he pulled up in front of her car and got out of his own old and battered car.
Even with the smile on the man's face, the old lady was worried. No one had stopped to help her for over an hour. Was he going to hurt her. . . ?
The man could see that she was frightened, standing out there in the cold. He knew how she felt. He knew that the chill she felt was not just from the weather, it had a touch of fear too.
He said, "I'll help you, ma'am. Why don't you wait inside your car where it's warm? By the way, my name is Bryan Anderson."
Well, all she had was a flat tyre, but it was bad enough for an old lady. Bryan crawled under the car looking for a place to put the jack, skinning his knuckles a couple o' times. He changed the flat tyre quick enough, but he had to get dirty and his hands hurt.
As he was tightening up the nuts and releasing the jack, she rolled down the window and began to talk to him. She told him her name, and where she was from, and what her children and grandchildren did, and that she was driving back home after a long visit to see her first great-grand-child. She couldn't thank him enough for coming to her aid when she needed it max.
Bryan just smiled as he closed the trunk. The lady asked how much she owed him. Any amount would have been all right with her. She had already imagined all the awful things that could happen to her through the oncoming night, had he not stopped by.
Bryan never thought twice about being paid. This was not a job to him. This was helping someone in need, and God knows there were plenty who had given him a hand in the past when he needed help. He had lived his whole life that way, and it never occurred to him to act any other way. Money? Naah!
He told her that if she really wanted to pay him back, she should help a needy person whenever she saw one. He waited until she drove off. It had been a cold and depressing day, but he felt good as he headed home through the twilight.
A few miles down the road the lady saw a small cafe and stopped to grab a bite, and to shake the chill off before she made the last leg of her trip home through the night. It was a dingy looking joint, huddled between an old petrol pump and a utility store. The whole scene was unfamiliar to her, in her class of society. The waitress came over and brought her a clean towel to wipe her wet hair. She had a sweet smile, one that even a whole day of work couldn't erase. The old lady noticed that the waitress was nearly eight months pregnant, but she never let the strain change her attitude. The old lady wondered how someone who had so little could be giving so much to a stranger. Then she remembered Bryan . . . and she smiled.
After finishing, the lady paid with a $100 bill for a $20 meal. While the waitress went to get change, the old lady slipped right out the door and was gone by the time the waitress came back to her table. The waitress wondered where the old lady was. Then she noticed something written on the napkin.
There were tears in her eyes when she read what the lady had writtten: "You don't owe me anything, not even the change that you're about to return to me. I've been there too. Somebody once helped me out, the way I'm helping you. If you really want to repay me, here is what you can do . . . don't let this chain of love end here."
Under the napkin were four more $100 bills.
Well, there were tables to clear, sugar bowls and ketchup bottles to fill, and a few more people to serve, but the waitress made it through another day. That night when she got home and climbed into bed, she was thinking about the money and about what the lady had written. She kept wondering, how could the old lady have known how much she and her husband needed the extra money in these difficult times? With the baby due next month, it was going to be hard, but now the going would be a bit easy.
She knew how worried her husband was. So, as she lay down, she gave him a peck on his cheek and whispered in his ear, "Everything is going to be all right, Mr Bryan Anderson, don't you worry." "What goes around, comes around."