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A complete stranger bought our movie tickets

A random act of kindness

We were standing in line to see “Heaven Is For Real,” at the Grand Theater, in East Greenville, Pennsylvania, when we saw the sign: “Cash only.” The tickets were three dollars.  I only had two one dollar bills in my wallet, and the movie was about to start. I overheard a woman behind me say, “Cash only. I don’t have any cash.” She was standing with two children and an older woman.

The older woman said, “It’s okay I have enough to pay for all of us.”

I turned to her and asked, “Excuse me. May I borrow four dollars. Here is my business card. I will mail you a check for the money.”

She returned my business card and said, “It’s okay. Let me buy your tickets.”

“Thank you.”

I cried.

A random act of kindness from a stranger.

Kindness is not random, it is done on purpose.
―Sonya Withrow

I know I could have stepped out of line and tried to find a bank and taken out cash. I am not sure why I didn’t. I don’t know what prompted me to ask. Maybe it was because we were almost to the front of the line, and I didn’t want to get out of line. Maybe it was because it was only four dollars. I wouldn’t have asked if the tickets were twelve dollars.  I hate asking for anything, even from friends. And this woman was a stranger.

We were there to see a movie about a little boy that went to Heaven. And for a brief moment, East Greenville, Pennsylvania, felt a little bit like Heaven. When a stranger was kind.

We didn’t have money for popcorn. Our stomachs were empty. But our hearts were full.

Has anyone ever done a random act of kindness for you? Or have you ever been standing in line at a movie theater and asked a complete stranger to buy your movie ticket? 

Please tell me in the comments. I would love to know your story.

My daughter just came downstairs and I asked her, “Do you remember what the woman said when I asked her if I could borrow money.”

She said, “Don’t worry about it.”

I thought she had said, “It’s okay.” Then I asked my daughter what I said. She told me I said thank you and started to cry.

Yes, she did tell me not to worry. Now I remember. And now I won’t forget. Because I did worry. I really wanted to mail her a thank you card and a check for four dollars.

Hmmm. Maybe the next time I go out for coffee I will leave four dollars for the  next person who buys coffee. Not random, on purpose.

p.s. The movie is worth seeing. It is true to the book, Heaven Is For Real, by Lynn Vincent and Todd Burpo. The little boy did go to Heaven.

And sometimes you find Heaven in a movie line, in the kindness of a stranger.


About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • Lynnette

    What a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing.

    • You are very welcome.
      Thank you for taking the time to say hello.

  • Kathy Storrie

    That was a tender story. Thank you for sharing, Pamela. It reminded me when years ago my hubby took our son and me to see the circus. Our finances were low so we took our binoculars and planned to buy cheap top seats. As we walked toward the box office some people standing around and offered us free tickets. I asked them what the catch was and they laughed and said nothing. I asked if we had to do something? They all smiled and said, “no catch”. We gladly took 3 tickets and thanked them. When we got inside we checked our tickets to see where our seats were. We couldn’t believe it! Our seats were in the second row, practically the best seats in the house! It was a special time for us to experienced the “favor and love of the Lord!”

    • Hello Kathy,
      What a sweet story. The kindness of strangers can feel like the hands of Jesus.
      Hugs to you today.

  • La McCoy


  • Berdeane Bodley

    How neat was that????????

    • Hi Mom,
      Pretty neat hey?
      Lets go to the movies when I come and visit. Maybe we will meet someone we can be kind to. 🙂

  • Dear Pamela, I’m not even going to begin a list of random acts of kindnesses I’ve received over the years. And also given. The list of receiving is much longer though.
    I’m sharing your post like Anne, because it’s like a random act of kindness, or a little like the movie, Pay it Forward.
    Ciao from a cold and rainy day in Italy.

    • Hello Patricia,
      Thank you for sharing my story.
      I think some of the kindness you have received is people helping you with your boat. And I image your list of being kind is at least as tall as you are.
      Now I want to see the movie you mentioned.
      Sending you a hot cup of coffee on a cold day, and a hug.

  • Loved this post. Have to share.

    Yes. we have received unbelievable gifts from strangers, as well as those we know. One time outside our back door was a couple huge bags of gifts for us for Christmas. That was fun. Loved your story and of course, I loved the way you told it.

    • Hello Anne,
      Thank you for your kind comment. And thank you for sharing my story.
      Kindness from strangers feels likes the hands of Jesus on earth.
      And it appears Jesus likes to use wrapping paper too. 🙂