The Chain of Love

The Chain of Love
He was driving home one evening, on a country road. Ever since
the Levi’s factory closed, work in this small community had been almost
as slow as his battered old car. But he never quit trying.
Now as
winter raged on, the chill had finally hit home. It made the road ahead
even bleaker.
It was starting to get dark, the continuous drizzle of snow flurries
making it difficult to see.
He almost missed the old lady, stranded on
the side of the road. But even in the dim light of day, he could see she
needed help. So he pulled up in front of her car and got out.
The lady
smiled nervously, looking visibly worried. No one had stopped in the
past hours. Was he going to hurt her?
He looked poor and hungry.
Realizing that she was frightened, he said quickly, “I’m here to help
Why don’t you wait inside the car where it’s warm?
By the way,
my name is Joe.”
All she had was a flat tire, but for those who were of the lady’s age,
that was bad enough. While he was working to change the tire, she
began to talk to him.
She told him that she was from St. Louis and was
only passing through. She thanked him for coming to her aid. Joe just
smiled in response.
She asked him how much she owed him and said any account would
be all right. She shuddered to imagine all those awful things that could
have happened if Joe had not helped.
the money.
But Joe never thought twice about
It wasn’t a job but helping someone in need, and there were
plenty of people who had lent him a helping hand in the past. He told
her that if she really wanted to repay him, she could help the next person
whom she found in need.
Waving goodbye to Joe, the old lady started her car and drove off.
It had been a cold and depressing day, but Joe’s spirit felt uplifted as he
headed home, slowly fading into the twilight.
A few miles down the road, the lady saw a small dingy-looking café.
She went in to grab a bite and take the chill off before she embarked on
the last leg of her trip home.
The waitress came over and brought a clean towel for her to wipe her
wet hair. She had a sweet smile, one that even being on her feet the
entire day couldn’t erase. The lady noticed that the waitress was nearly
eight months pregnant. She wondered how someone who had so little
could be so giving to a stranger. Then she remembered Joe.
She finished her meal, and quietly slipped out of the door while the
waitress went to get her change from a hundred-dollar bill. When she
returned, the lady was no longer in sight, but the waitress noticed
something written on a napkin, under which there were four more
one-hundred-dollar bills. Tears filled her eyes as she read it.
The lady
wrote, “Someone once helped me out in the way I’m helping you. If
you really want to pay me back, don’t let the chain of love end with you.”
That night, after the waitress returned home, she lay awake in bed
thinking about the money and what the lady had written.
have known that they need money?
How could she
With the baby due the next month,
it was going to be hard. Her husband, who was sleeping beside her, was
worried sick. She gave him a soft kiss and whispered, “Everything will
be all right. I love you, Joe.”