I am certain most of us (maybe it’s just the women?) have a mental list of things we need to do each day. Mine seems to be never-ending. Get kids dressed and fed. Water that bamboo plant on your desk your boss’s wife gave you so you don’t look like you can’t keep things alive, even though it looks like it’s seen better days. Try not to forget mascara or deodorant – because, frankly, I need both to feel human and less insecure. Figure out what’s for dinner. Cook said dinner. Fight with at least one child during dinner regarding whether they like this particular dish because their four year old palate is more sophisticated than your culinary capabilities. Somewhere between putting kids to bed and preparations to do it all again tomorrow, you sneak in a kiss and tell your husband he is the best thing that ever happened to you besides Jesus and chocolate.
But some days, the list gets bazookaed; blown away by a missile comprised of purpose and grace. That, my friends, is how God wants to wreck your day.
For me, what started as an ordinary Tuesday led me to stop and talk to a woman asking for help, letting her cry in my arms and tell me in broken English what was happening in her life. Her hurt overcame our language barrier – and I could feel her pain. I wrapped my arms around a complete stranger, and I loved her. I shared this experience on Facebook. A while later, a friend of mine called me, tracked the woman down and gave her a gas card that she needed to get home.
The response I got from my posts on Tuesday about the incident were overwhelming, so I decided to do a live chat that night. Then the next day, I had an idea. I challenged my friends to commit a random act of kindness, send me private messages about their experiences, then I would share their stories anonymously here on my blog. Here are responses I received:
“First, we gave a gentleman some food this afternoon. He was begging for money on the side of the road. Second, a mother in one of our communities posted stuff for sale saying she needed to get her son his school supplies. We had extra so I passed it onto her. She got everything she needed minus a few notebooks.”
The woman who shared that story with me went on to explain that she knew what it was like to be in need, and had been the recipient of help during diffcult times. She feels it is her responsibility to give to others in need.
“I bought some food at Burger King. Felt God in my heart today there would be some people to give it to on way home from work. Sure enough two homeless people on the side (of the road). I pulled over, grabbed my food and a bible. I meet Nick. I said, “This food and bible is for you.” He said, “Thank you so much. I lost my bible recently and been wanting to know about God more.” We hugged . I told him Jesus loves him. It was awesome. God is so good. We just have to listen.”
The man who sent me this is a hard-working family man.
“I bought coffee for the person behind me in the Starbucks drive-thru.”
I have no doubt that they made someone’s day. It’s hard to have a bad day after someone buys you coffee!
In efforts to help my friend with hospital bills I went door to door in my dorm. We were able to raise a couple hundred bucks to help their family out.
A little girl who I got connected with was battling cancer. We put on a battle of the bands to raise money as well.
I received a few other stories that were wonderful and I couldn’t edit them down for this post. I’m amazed at the kindness of strangers.
This next story made me LOL because I’ve done this exact thing. Anyone else hate returning carts?
I grabbed the cart from the woman next to me at Costco and returned it with my own. Why? Cuz I hate returning my cart, and often park strategically so that my walk from my car to the cart return is the shortest distance even if it means walking much further to actually get to my car.
Beyond all of this, I received many private messages from people grappling with how to address those in need. Some felt giving money is irresponsible. Some thought they should give all they have. One thing I know for sure we can all agree on: KINDNESS. It costs us nothing to be kind to other human beings. To expand on this, Beth has some thoughts on kindness. I had no idea this was something she struggled with. Check out Beth’s blog and see if you can relate. You’ll also get some good guidance, as well.