Friday, February 19, 2016

Random Acts

We experienced a random act of generosity this week. I was taking a walk with my kids (if fixing a remote control car, while pushing a big dump truck with my foot and holding a Barbie and a blanket counts as a walk...) and I saw a neighbor hurrying toward us. She had a look of determination.

"Well hello!" she said brightly in her southern accent. "I just moved it down the street and I have had a mess of a time trying to give away, give away two twin mattresses and box springs! Charities aren't taking them and I have got to get these out of my house before the new ones come. Do you, by chance know anyone who might need them? I grew up with nothing, sweetheart. Didn't have two pennies to rub together. I can't stand the thought of just scrapping them! What's your name, honey? C'mon, just follow me to my house so you can see them."

Before I knew what was happening, we were standing in the middle of her living room. The mattresses were piled up in the corner and I saw the tags dangling from each of them. They were high quality and exactly what we will need in the new house. I couldn't understand why she was getting rid of them. "Oh, well, I put them on the beds and they squeeked. I couldn't handle that! Might be the beds, who knows? But I wasn't going to take a chance. Consider 'em yours, honey!" I hugged her, thanked her and told her what a blessing she had been.

"I get one of the new mattresses for my room!" my oldest called out as we headed back to our house. Then suddenly, he asked, "Why did she just give us brand new beds, Mommy?" 
"God must have told her we needed them for our new house. That's the only thing I can figure out. Whatever the reason, it made my day. I still can't believe it."
"That was really really nice of her," my four year old piped in.
"It really was, baby. It was an incredible gift."

I've had family members give me things. I've had friends do some really wonderfully kind things for me. But I've never had a stranger approach me on the sidewalk to give me something needed and brand new. I hoped that it would sink in and somehow shape my children's idea of generosity. A few days later, I learned that it did.

"Where's the car that goes with your new race track?" I asked my four year old. My aunt and mom had taken them shopping when my husband and I were away and they had gotten all kinds of great stuff. 
"He gave it to our new friend at the park!" my oldest chimed in.
"Really, Drew?" I looked at him for confirmation.
"Mmm hmm! He really liked it so I gave it to him. I would've given him the track too but it was in the car."
"Even though it was brand new?"
"Yeah, why not?" he asked.
Why not, indeed.

Our acts of kindness resonate like ripples in a pond. One act of kindness begets another. We never know the difference we are making in people's lives - It's not something we can do because we expect recognition. It's something purely selfless. 

Today, look for opportunities to do something for a stranger. Hold open a door, buy the person behind you a cup of coffee, listen to someone who needs to be heard. You just might make a lasting impact on their lives and the lives of those around them.

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