The potential value of a quarter

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A quarter isn’t much.  What can you buy for a quarter nowadays?  Back in the day it was a regular occurrence.   I remember buying a good candy bar, a can of soda (the major brands), or a turn on one of those small rides outside of Kmart, but that was back in the ’70s.  It got you a chance to challenge your skills on a video game in the ’80s, except for the really cool games that you had to sit in to play – they took two quarters.

I struggle to think of what a quarter can get you now, though:  Fifteen minutes on a parking meter, a couple of notebooks at Walmart in August, a Big Mac when you buy another at regular price (for a limited time), or half of a quality chicken wing. But, there was one day a couple of weeks ago when a quarter had great value for me.

Zach, my nine-year-old, went with me to the grocery store.  He’d been with me on errands already and had been a trooper about it.  So, I offered to give him a quarter for the machines out front.  You know, the kind that sell candy or small toys with the twist of a knob. The problem was that I thought that there was a quarter in my pocket, but there wasn’t.  I had no cash on me. My little man was disappointed.

There are two grocery stores where we do our shopping.  One of them is part of a local chain called Sparkle Market.  It’s really close to our house, and the staff are very friendly and helpful. This was the store I was at with Zach.

The cashier was a young lady who had been chatting with Zach as she was scanning our items.  When I told Zach that I didn’t have  a quarter, she immediately reached into her pocket, pulled out a quarter and gave it to Zach!

Okay, it’s only a quarter. I’m not sure why it meant so much to me. It did get me out of a jam.  Maybe there was something about her act that validated her chat with Zach, showing she was genuinely interested in interacting with the little guy. Vanda thinks it’s because we don’t expect people to think that way, to put themselves in our situations.

Nope, a quarter usually isn’t worth much, but it was that day. One thing is for sure, unsuspected generosity in any amount blesses people.  That’s why it can be such a powerful tool for followers of Jesus Christ. If a quarter can do that, how much more could a meal to a needy family or a free car wash go toward validating all we Christians say about our amazing Savior?

Keep your eye out for chances to bless someone today. It may not cost you much, but it can be worth a great deal.

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10 thoughts on “The potential value of a quarter

  1. Hey a quarter gets you a shopping cart at Aldi’s. And 4 of them get you a dollar. But it you case it is worth more. It is worth “hope”. Hope that there is still good in people. Hope that the news, which is always bad it seems, isn’t all we have devolved to.

    Good refreshing story. And I agree we should continue to pay it forward daily.

    • Yeah, and you even get the quarter back at Aldi’s if you return the cart! That young lady doesn’t know that I’ve blogged about what she did. I wonder what she’ll think about it when I tell her? It was a great symbol of hope. Thanks, Jon.

  2. I’d like to think of it not as hope, but as validation…validation in that there IS still good in people. Too often we look for the bad; we focus on what’s wrong instead of the good that is right there in front of us! I believe that if we change our focus and praise on what IS good then that positive attitude will blossom in others.

    • Yes, Cindy. Kindness can be contagious. It’s natural for most of us to focus on the bad, but there are more good things going on around us if we take the time to look. I don’t know if this young lady is a Christian. If she isn’t, it’s proof that God’s grace extends to people who don’t know him. Now it’s up to us to take advantage of that similarity and give him glory by it somehow. Thanks for your comment, Cindy.

  3. I love that Sparkle Market! I also find they are great staff there as well, and am glad to hear how an act of kindness – was done for your 9 year old!

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