Random Acts of Kindness
Several years ago while traveling the same stretch of road each day I made my typical morning run at the local Shell station. Looking forward to my sunrise caffeine fix soon became a much abused habit. Routinely arriving at the store the same time each morning brought about eyeing the same patrons. The shop was crowded and with a small parking area folks were anxious to get in and out and on their way.
It was three days before Christmas in 2005. This would be the last morning I would be stopping in the Shell before returning to work after the holidays. With the car packed and ready to roll my husband and I were leaving for Florida immediately after work. Saving for our trip over several months was no piece of cake. Custom fabricated gifts for the girls allowed our savings to stretch a little further. The trek down the interstate would be expensive at best. To cut the bottom dollar of our journey we formulated a strict travel plan.
Organizing the suitcase the morning of our departure accounted for my late escape. Kicking off the start of day several minutes behind placed me at the Shell later than normal. With a barren parking lot showing no signs of the regular crowd, I was sure to be in and out quickly. Approaching the tea machine I noticed a young man dressed in tattered work clothes. His hardened face and hands hinted he was an outdoor kind of person. This was the first occasion bearing witness to this person at my morning stomping grounds.
Approaching the counter I overheard the stranger speaking quietly to the fellow leaning next to him. His conversation began moving me to tears. Unassuming my presence, the weathered stranger drifting into a whisper like soft voice, apprised his compadre he was penniless. Disclosing his heart he explained there would be nothing under the tree for the wife. Furthermore, he clarified the emptiness he felt as Santa had squat diddly for the kids.
Now how many of you have viewed the movie Pay It Forward, a film about a boy committing to three acts of random kindness? Explicit scenes from this flick straightaway invaded my heart. Moved further to weeping I vacated the premise. As I sat in the car pondering the plight of this innocent man I turned and opened my wallet. Having our savings for our precious trip tucked tightly into a stowaway compartment I slowly removed a hundered dollar bill. It would be a great sacrifice to shell out our hard-earned dough to this down-and-out chap. After all, one hunder dollars would buy two pair of shoes for my little ones.
Hastily asking the Lord for guidance I reentered the premise. The young man was now standing at the counter. I softly moved to his side and thrusted the bill into his hand. After a double-take he hesitantly said no as he pushed the money back into my hands. For a moment our eyes directly locked and I pushed back again. Softly I bid good-bye. As I departed my only request was when your time comes around please pay it forward.
In a flash I was out the door and on my way to work. Quickly fleeing the store I had a renewed sense of inner peace. For a moment the spirit of the Lord had touched my heart and removed all selfishness. And never again did I ever lay eyes on my mystery man.
I was reminded of this story today as I sat in the hospital waiting upon my husband to finish surgery. Chatting with a work related acquaintance I let her know she was missed since her retirement. In a flash she was gone for her sonograms when suddenly she reappeared. While sitting on the couch she stooped to meet my eyes. Softly she said “thanks for letting me know I am missed. I didn’t think anyone even knew I was gone.”
Will you be the next angel for the day? Random acts of kindness~~pay it forward! Give your heart a renewed sense of spirit!
Live Life to its Fullest and Follow Your Dreams
See you soon…
Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. ~Leo Buscaglia