Giving Back Those Who Can Never Repay You

My first night in San Francisco, I was awakened to two people arguing outside. Their voices easily carried into the hotel room, and I wondered who could be angry so early in the morning…

For the remaining vacation, my sisters and I had an amazing experience in San Francisco. At Hotel Bijou, Jeff scurried to remedy the fact that his co-worker gave away our room with two double beds leaving us with a room holding one queen bed for three grown women. He more than compensated with spectacular service, a roll-out full size bed, and a basket full of goodies.  When we arrived at the Hilton for night two, Ericka upgraded our standard room to an executive room on the 23rd floor with a spectacular view of the city simply because one of us asked if our room had a window. On our way to pick up the rental car, the bus driver only allowed one of us to pay part of the fare and waved the other two of us onto the bus free of charge. The list goes on.

A kind lady told us all of the places to visit in wine country. She mentioned that she would love to go herself but she had no one to drive her. I could have invited her to come along...but I did not. | ordinarilyextraordinarymom #givingback #giveback #christianity #giving #vacation #relaxation #sanfrancisco #christianity #kindness #angels #randomactsofkindness

However, San Francisco had another side that permeated every fiber.  People lived on the streets…everywhere.

Cue the argument outside my window. Karissa, my avid traveling sister, says that the reviews mentioned the homeless arguing throughout the night.  The entire experience tore at my heart strings, and still, I was no Good Samaritan.  All the lessons I learned growing up. All the good I had learned to do for others, and here was my chance to practice what I preached. Here was my moment to really shows others Jesus through me.

I blew it. EVERY TIME.

While waiting in line for breakfast, a girl accidentally knocked over a trash can. She singlehandedly toppled not the small trash cans that you have in your kitchen, but the huge ones – the ones that you take to the curb for the trash guys. She then proceeded to pick up the trash can and the massive amounts of disgustingness that also spilled into the streets as a result.  She did much more than most would have done.  She did much more than I would have done.

Everything in me said to go help her: “In as much as you have done it unto the least of these My brothers, you have done it unto Me.” (Matthew 25:40).  “That’s Me over there Brittany. Help Me.”  “You never know when you are entertaining angels.”

"The Kind will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'" ~ Matthew 25:40 | #bibleberse #matthew #givingback #giveback #kindness #randomactsofkindness #christianity #inspiration #motivation

And I sat and watched. I was not touching trash.

I wanted her to walk away. She had done her part. She had picked up the trash can. She was free to go. No one would bother her about the stuff that fell out, but she kept picking up.  Someone even had the nerve to call security on her, as if knocking over a trash can was some sort of crime.

Immediately, I think of times when I drop something or knock something over at establishments, and the workers are quick to say, “don’t worry about it.” “I’ll get it.” “Just leave it. We will take care of it.”  I think all of the people who stop to help. No one did that for her. Not even me…

I would love to say I did better after that, but I did not.

A lady stopped us in the hallway of our hotel to tell us how beautiful we were, held a conversation about her life, and inquired about ours. She was delightful.  She asked us where we were going to eat. She suggested some place she thought we would love. She stated several times that she would go herself except that she was no longer allowed to drive.

I should have asked her to come with us.  Instead, I remembered all the episodes of Law & Order, Cold Case, Elementary…They used delightful older ladies to kill people so I offered her nothing, not even a to-go plate.  After all San Francisco had done for me,  I took it all, and gave nothing back.

The final straw was the man who asked for spare change on my way in from shopping.  I did not want to take the time to get it out of the wallet that I was holding IN MY HAND.  I thought I may miss the light.

My baby sister gave him every thing she had.  She said, “he only asked for change. You never know their situation, what brought them to this.”  I should have run back and given him all that I had.  I did not. I did not even turn around to see if he was still there. It was then that guilt began to overwhelm me, but before the guilt could settle in, God stopped me.

Just do better.

The post, “you can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you (John Wooden),”  replayed over and over in my mind.  How many times did I ignore the person on the corner or in front of the store?  How many times had I made excuses to myself about why I could not give to strangers?  They will use the money for drugs or alcohol.  They will harm me when I take my purse out.  This entire scenario is a setup.

You can't live a perfect day without doing something for someone who can never repay you. ~ John Wooden | ordinarilyextraordinarymom #givingback #giveback #kindness #christianity #inspiration #motivation #angels #johnwooden #raok #randomactsofkindness

How many times had I kicked myself for not entertaining angels?  As though only angels should receive the benefits of kindness or spare change.  Everyone deserves a perfect day, a perfect vacation, a perfect glance at who God really is – whether giving or receiving.

Everyone deserves a perfect day, a perfect vacation, a perfect glance at who God really is | ordinarilyextraordinarymom #givingback #giveback #inspiration #motivation #faith #christianity #kindness #raok #randomactsofkindness

So I challenge you much the way I challenged myself to “do better.”

Sometimes being a good person (whatever that means) is not enough.  Yes, the receiving  end of unexpected blessings certainly has its highlights.

Yet, to give, to give of yourself to your spouse, to your children, to your friends, to complete strangers…

To offer your love, your time, your food, or your money to someone who can never return the favor…

Is to transform your life from ordinary to extraordinary.

Giving Back to Those Who Can Never Repay You | ordinarilyextraordinaymom #givingback #giveback #kindness #faith #christianity #raok #randomactsofkindness #christian

Do you have insights to give to those who can never repay you? Comment below or connect with me: Facebook,Instagram, Pinterest, snapchat: mrsbonnaffons.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

***Disclaimer: I have received no compensation from the above mentioned businesses. Please contact business for pricing and customization details.

Small Victories Sunday Linkup

21 thoughts on “Giving Back Those Who Can Never Repay You

Add yours

  1. This post strung the chords of my heart…I too, am guilty of the similar…and now I will definitely try to compensate for everything I HAVE NOT done…beautifully expressed…loved it 🙂 🙂


  2. Giving back is something I do sporadically. I know I can”do better” because I have. Sometimes its cutting coupons and leaving them around the store by the appropriate items. Once it was circling back to give that person with a sign the cold water bottle I’d justbeen given when picking up my grocery order.

    Too often its looking the other way, or not going out because I’m afraid.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Our human nature is to be selfish and self-centered – which is contrary to the Spirit. Once we surrender to the Spirit and allow him to reign being selfless takes iver.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I certainly know that feeling. I do not always have monetary means either but I want to teach my children the importance of helping those who cannot always help themselves. I need to do some brainstorming in this area. My sister in law once gave us bags full of snacks to hand out at corners. I may look into doing that…


  3. I grew up watching my father, a drug addict, yell at the homeless for asking for help and I never wanted to be that way when I was older. I’ve learned in giving now that more than anything, it isn’t what you give but how you give it. I don’t always have money but I can pray for them. I can pray with them. I can ask them their name and give them a hug. Sometimes, people just want to know that they are still human!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Well, I’d say start with having grace for yourself. It’s hard to know what to do.. those situations come up unexpectedly and those valid questions with them. But take some time to pray and then decide. So when the opportunity arises again – you aren’t caught off guard, there’s no decision making, just do what you decided – unless the Spirit prompts otherwise. It sounds like in each case – fear was a factor in your decision making. So perhaps that’s something to work through.

    One thing that really changed my perspective is knowing that 50% of the homeless have a history in foster care.

    That’s huge. I used to assume that 95% of the homeless were there because they did drugs… but maybe instead they’re just kids who never had any help or support. And in California – especially LA – the shelters are full – low-income housing has a 10 year wait. Homelessness has skyrocketed by nearly double in 5 years.

    There’s things you can do that are guaranteed to be helpful – like I’ve left bottled water almost always w/ homeless as I heard that most of them are often dehydrated.

    Now of course I’m trying to help right at that pivotal moment when foster kids enter homelessness. But I’ve been in Los Angeles for 13 years and seen the homeless all along – even before it grew to 50,000 (40,000 unsheltered!) It took me a very long time to work through what I believe & how I act.

    I don’t assume all homeless are friendly & safe. But I think now – regardless if they “earned” it that they are in a moment of need and the kindness of the gesture, seeing through the mess to the person, is possibly just as powerful as anything. And I still have work to do on myself in this regard too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like the idea of water. That is such a good idea. My sister in law gave us some bags at one point that we passed out whenever someone asked for a handout. Reading your blog has definitely made me more informed about the “why.” I always wonder how can I help now. Truly, I want to help. Being on vacations, I was truly thrown for a loop, and I’m glad you mentioned they may not all be friendly. *sigh* The greatest answer is truly prayer. Discernment and obedience to God’s response.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: