Sometimes in life you hear a story that stops you dead in your tracks. Rarely does that story come from someone you’ve known for most of your life yet had no idea where he’d come from. I’ll never forget the tone as he shared his story…
“I was 11 years old and we were at a convenience store just outside of St. Louis. My family had been hit hard. We’d literally lost everything, actually now that I think about it, we never really had anything to lose. We had nothing. My dad was an alcoholic, my mom in and out of the hospital for drug abuse. I had dropped out of school in the 2nd grade. Not by choice. More because we were always on the move. We never stayed in the same place for more than a few weeks.”
He continued, “As we were checking out, our total came to $4.68. I don’t know why I remember that number, but I do. My dad didn’t have enough to cover it and without hesitation, the man behind us tapped him on the shoulder and said, ‘Please don’t turn around, just accept this money.’ He gave my dad a twenty dollar bill. My dad didn’t turn around but curiosity got to me. As I began to turn, the man put his hand on my shoulder as if to say, ‘You’re welcome.’ I never got a good look at him.”
“It was seven years later as my dad, my mom and myself sat in our church in Memphis when our pastor welcomed a guest pastor and friend of his from St Louis. The moment he spoke, my dad’s eyes welled up with tears. He knew right away who that man was. After the service, we walked up to the pastor and my dad shared his story about how he came to find Jesus…
‘Several years ago, we were lost. We had nothing. No jobs. No money. We were living out of our car. Our car that had no gas and 2 flat tires. We had no hope. I was struggling with alcohol abuse and my wife with drugs. Things had gotten so bad that we agreed to a suicide pact.’
Dad continued, “Our son has never heard of this until this moment right now. My wife and I had planned to end our lives that night in hopes that our son would find a better life without us. As one last gesture, we decided that we would buy our son some food and his favorite soda with our last few dollars. As we were checking out, we realized that we didn’t have enough money. Just then a man behind us asked us to please take the money from his hand and not to look at him. As we walked away the man whispered to us ‘Jesus Loves You.’”
“We left the store, walked a few blocks back to the spot where we planned to spend those last moments with our son before we would head to our designated suicide site. Instead we wept. We wept uncontrollably. We wept for hours. The strangest thing happened, as I glared up at the church across the street, I saw a church sign that simply said ‘Jesus Loves You.’ We went to that church the next Sunday, and both my wife and I were saved that day.”
“Pastor, when you began speaking this morning, I knew immediately that you were the man who gave us the money.” The Pastor asked how? Dad answered, “Your accent, it’s South African. I will never forget it. He continued, “Your act of kindness was much more than a simple good deed. Two, maybe three people are alive today because of it. My wife and I are missionaries now. Our son is heading to college next year. I can’t explain what your gift did that day. I can never repay you for what you did.”
The Pastor responded with a smile and a tear in his eye, “You just did.”
A Gentle Reminder: Maintain your spiritual antennae, remembering that God can multiply the smallest gift many times over.
In the spirit of giving, we are so excited to announce we are bringing the Sisters Tour to you through a live simulcast, and giving 10% of net proceeds to the Hurricane Relief Efforts! What does something like this cost? A ticket to the Sisters event costs $30 per person. All we ask is for you to pay what you choose to pay. This is a gift that we want to give to you. We don’t ask for anything in return except for you to give what you’re called to give within your heart. Click here to learn more about the Sisters Simulcast!
Brandon Janous is a father of three precious little ones. He’s a husband to an incredible wife who gives him more grace than he deserves. Brandon is an entrepreneur, a storyteller, and a speaker who loves his family, his friends and Jesus!