Ethel Gillette of St. Petersburg was doing some routine shopping at her neighborhood Publix store on 49th Street in St. Petersburg recently when she realized she had a big problem. Her groceries were unloaded and while she was ready and willing to pay, she realized her credit card was missing from her purse.
Confused and embarrassed, she was ready to put them all back when a complete stranger tapped her on the shoulder and without hesitation paid the $102.07 bill to the clerk for her. Ethel was in shock and pleaded with the stranger for her name and address so that she could pay her back. The woman quietly said, “There is no need for that; I can afford to do this”. She smiled and was gone.
Ethel was “touched by an angel” and so were all the people behind her in line, as well as the clerk in the Publix store. She said, “Life is a series of moments and events. If we touch others and our moments are noble and we pass this one to others, we have placed incentives that have a domino effect.”
At a time when our newspaper is filled with doom and gloom, this was such a refreshing story to wake up to today. Was it a miracle? Probably not. But it certainly was more than just a random act of kindness as the headlines suggest. This is the true meaning of Christmas and I suspect that Ethel will be looking for someone to help this season.