Sometimes it’s easy to forget that the world is full of people who aren’t blessed with a home, a job, or a means to survive. The universe likes to remind people of this fact, and one Texas woman was taught this valuable lesson in the form of a stranger with a request.
Hayley was tending to her 2-year-old when she was suddenly distracted by a hard knock on the door. As she opened the door she was unaware that this moment was one she’d never forget.
In fact, the experience would take her breath away – quite literally!
Hayley Runnels lives in Greenville, Texas with her husband and 2-year-old son. A few days before Christmas, she was at home baking cookies and keeping a watchful eye on her toddler. When she heard someone pounding on her front door, she didn’t know who was on the other side.
When you’re not expecting company, that usually means there’s an unwelcome solicitor waiting on your doorstep. However, Hayley was a bit surprised when she opened the door.
“Darius knocked on my door today to introduce himself. He told me he was trying to earn some money, and had noticed that my yard was full of leaves. Admittedly, I turned him down initially. It’s Christmas, funds are tight, and I let my worldly worries get in the way of helping someone else.”
Even though she had a family budget to stick to, Hayley’s guilt was eating away at her. Here was a hardworking man trying to earn an honest living, and she had just thwarted his efforts.
Haley’s conscience told her exactly what she needed to do. She couldn’t let Darius get away!
“I came back inside and pulled warm cookies out of the oven, and looked at my son, and the word, ‘No’ came to mind. Sternly, firmly, and without further direction. I knew exactly what that meant, so I ran outside and found him 3 doors down, right in the middle of getting another door shut in his face. Shame on me. Shame on me. Shame on me.”
There’s no shame in trying to preserve your family’s financial freedom. Thankfully Hayley realized that providing Darius with a little bit of cash wasn’t frivolous spending. Helping out another soul is never an “unnecessary” endeavor.
Hayley quickly ran after Darius, catching her breath along the way. She waved him down and told him to come back!
“I mentioned that I didn’t have any cash but if he could wait on me to run to the ATM I would be glad to hire him. So, I went inside, dressed Hayden in a rush, grabbed his bag, my bag, the tray of cookies, and my phone. I hauled everything out and locked the door behind me.”
Hayley headed straight to her car, and told Darius that she would be right back with his well-deserved payday.
During Hayley’s mad rush to get to the ATM, she forgot her keys. Oops!
“Yep. I locked myself out of the house in the process. So, we took off walking to the nearest ATM (about 4 blocks away). Can you say humbling? I called Adam on the way and let him know that I was locked out. I walked back home, paid Darius, and thanked him for his hard work. I asked if he minded if I tried to round up some more work for him.”
Darius gave Hayley a great big smile in response, and gave her his number so that she could share it with the neighbors.
When Hayley’s husband Adam came home, she explained why she dipped into the family budget, and hoped he wasn’t going to be mad. Adam flew off down the street after Darius, not in rage, but to honor him!
“My sweet husband took off across the street to shake his hand and offer to try and help him get hired on with Academy. How amazing is Darrius? How amazing are my neighbors, and my husband? How precious is my two year old who yelled, ‘TANK YOU’ as Darius was walking across the street to his next job? How humbled am I? Very. Very. Very. If you live in the Sherman/Denison area and have leaves that need raking, this is your guy. I feel like this man deserves recognition. He deserves a leg up, and he is ready to work. Please share near or far we never know who might be in the blessing business. Merry Christmas everyone!”
Anyone who goes out of their way to earn an honest living, with doors constantly being shut in their face, definitely has drive and determination. Darius should get more than just a leg up – he deserves the utmost respect!
Times are tough for a lot of people. But, let’s remember that God loves to give back to folks who have a charitable heart. Anytime you give, you’re also gaining something valuable in return.