...with Cokeville. I may never leave.
This morning Amelia and I were just headed out to walk to the Post Office. (US Mail doesn't get delivered to your house here; everything goes to your P.O. Box. Amelia and I walk the two blocks into town to check the mail most days since she is begging to go for a walk the minute she gets out of bed every morning.) I saw a truck pull up to the house and I knew Dan was sleeping and it would be hard for him to get up to answer the door. So we hurried back to talk to our visitor.
The man introduced himself and I recognized his name as someone who had been recommended as a handyman that might be able to help us get our wood stove installed and help with other chores around the house since Dan was hurt. I assumed that Dan had called him and he was there to look at the wood stove.
I was completely flabbergasted when he handed me a check for several hundred dollars and said, "I figured you guys would be needing some money right about now." At first I was confused, thinking it was a check I was supposed to hand on to our landlord for something and then it dawned on me that the money was for us. This complete stranger who didn't know us from Adam, who had just heard about Dan's accident around town, was giving us money just because it felt like the right thing to do. He said, "I've just been thinking about you guys for the last couple of days and I felt real strongly that I should help."
There are no words for the feeling that came over me, this feeling of "this town, these people are amazing." You would never get this in the city.
You hear stories about stuff like this, but nothing like this has ever happened to me. I was stunned and said something stupid about us being fine financially because Dan could work from home still and we had some savings. I asked him if Dan had called him about the wood stove and he said no. I said, "well, we could sure use some help with that. But we're OK financially and I'd rather you saved this money for someone who really needs it." I asked him some questions about the stove and awkwardly gave him the check back.
For the first couple of hours after he left I was on this euphoric high, totally jazzed by the genuine kindness and charity for a complete stranger. Then the more I thought about it, the more I started thinking that I might have hurt his feelings or come across as ungrateful by not accepting the money. I don't think it was necessarily pride that kept me from accepting. Two years ago we were in a financial situation where we would have desperately needed that money and I remember that feeling. I was thinking that the money would be better given to someone who needed it more than we did. But the more I thought about it and talked to Dan about it, the more I thought, "Yes, we could use his help in the form of time, but maybe right now he has more money than time to give, and I totally spurned him." I felt horrible.
So this evening I went to his house and apologized for my reaction. I explained that no one had ever done anything like that for me before and that I was just dumbfounded by the whole thing. I was a little teary-eyed as I explained that I didn't want to come across as ungrateful. I said, "If you have time to help us at the house, that would be great, but if the money is what you'd like to do for us, we'd be very grateful to have it." He went and got the check and gave it back to me. He and his wife explained that after they'd been to Stake Conference this past Sunday, he felt strongly impressed to offer us some help. He talked about living in a small town and how everyone helps each other out and supports one another.
I am overwhelmed and grateful. I told Lily about it tonight as I was putting the girls to bed and I said, "That is exactly the kind of thing Jesus would do."
All of you who are praying for us, God is answering. Thanks and we love you!