The internet is a weird place. Aside from AUTHENTIK, there are a lot of websites that can take you down into the Rabbit Hole of Strange. At the top of the time-suck-websites list is Reddit, a forum of forums where anyone can post anything about almost any topic. However, as weird as the internet is, it’s also a place where the lonely turn to find any sort of human contact.
That’s why this guy posted. User Martin_Italia shared a heartbreaking post about how he would be spending Christmas under the weight of depression:
“If anyone asks me in real life, I say I’m fine. But I’m not fine.. in fact I think im depressed … I’m spending Christmas alone because my family wont visit me and I cant afford to go to them.”
Martin_Italia goes on to talk about his only hobbies — watching Netflix and sleeping.
He’s lonely and in debt. He’s lost interest in things he once enjoyed. Even the text colors he chose — white words on a black screen — seem to echo his depressed state.
Then something happens that changes his life.
Reddit operates on anonymity, so while there’s a chance you might know the person you’re talking to in real life, you probably don’t. In fact, there are more than 1 billion Reddit users per year.
When one of those users saw Martin’s original post, he (or she — it’s hard to tell gender on Reddit) asked how much it would cost for Martin_Italia to go see his family. He responded that it would take 500 euros or $687. He also noted that he only had $30 in his bank account.
Within three hours, the stranger paid for Martin_Italia to go see his family.
It wasn’t a flashy donation. User Ryanh2727 posted, “I would like to send you the €500 for the flight to see your family for Christmas. No bamboozle.”
Ryan2727 immediately sent the funds through PayPal so Martin_Italia could secure plane tickets.
The two Reddit users will probably never meet. Ryanh2727 will likely never know how Martin_Italia’s trip went. He may never know if he conquered his depression or met some friends.
It doesn’t matter. This was just a gift given with no expectation of any kind of return. It’s the simplest, purest form of Christ’s love.
Matthew 6:3 says, “But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.” Those words still ring true, but in 2017, that could be written, “Don’t let anyone know what you’re PayPal-ing.”
So the next time you’re down and out or feeling the holiday blues, remember Jesus is everywhere — in the bad news, in the family feuds and even in Reddit forums.