Thursday, August 11, 2016

Random Acts of Kindness

Source unknown

     I have shared other posts here on acts of kindness because I have been the recipient of them and I know first-hand how uplifting they can be.  It seems the Lord will touch someone's heart to send me a card or give me a note, or even a hug at church with a kind word just at the moment I needed it most – and they were totally unaware of my need!

     My youngest brother, Doug, recently shared an situation he was involved in.  It blessed me tremendously because my brother has experienced some relationships that have made him very, very reluctant to be open.  So when he called the other evening to share his experience, it not only meant so much that he was willing to be open with me but what he did blessed my heart tremendously.

     Doug told me that he stopped by the grocery store near his home to pick up a few things.  When he went to check out, there was an elderly African-American woman with two young children checking out ahead of him.  She didn't have but a few things and to Doug it looked like the things she was purchasing would probably be what she would fix for them for dinner.  When the clerk gave her the total, she didn't have enough cash to pay for it all and had him take several of the cans of vegetables off, which he did, and she was able to pay for the other items.
     Doug said he stood there trying to decide what to do because he felt he really wanted to help her but was afraid that she would be offended if he did.  Then he remembered hearing someone say that when in doubt, do the kindest thing.  So he told the clerk to put the cans into her bag and he would pay for them.  

     What Doug wasn't prepared for, he said, was how grateful the woman was.  She kept thanking him and saying, "God Bless you."  He said he was a little overwhelming because it only costs him about $2.50 to help her, and yet it apparently meant so much to this woman.  He just smiled and told her he was glad he was able to help.

     After she and the children left, the young clerk looked at him and said, "That was awesome!  I've never seen anybody do that, man!  That was awesome!"
     Knowing my brother, by this time he was quite embarrassed!  He said he told the clerk, "That's the way I was raised."  Then he paid for his things and left.

     Yes, that was the way we were raised.  Our parents showed us by their actions to help when possible, to never look down on people, and to always be grateful.  Sometimes I'm sure they thought we were too hard-headed to get it, but apparently we did -- it just took us maturing to bring it out!

     As I listened to my brother, I was so proud of him and wanted to burst into tears!  He was totally out of his comfort zone in what he did and then in telling me about it!  Then I realized that what he did had created ripples that he would probably never see himself: his simple act had impacted at least five lives:  

              First, he helped the elderly lady at her point of need, both financial and materially.

              Second (and third) he showed her two young grandchildren an act of kindness from a total stranger, someone who expected nothing from them in return.

          Forth, the clerk, who happened to also be an African-American.  Here was my brother, a Caucasian, helping an African-American family and showing that  compassion knows no boundaries.

              And then there was the other man in line behind my brother, who witnessed it all and had his life touched even if he wasn't consciously aware of it.

     Random acts of kindness.  A little thing that can be a big thing to someone.  We never know who the Lord will bring across our path, nor how we will be able to bless them ... or be blessed by them.

          Shared in love,