This is Week 11 of this series, and today, I am so inspired to blog about kindness.
Hebrews 13:2 reminds us: “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”
My children I had experienced this very scripture this morning. Our trip to the local store, ended in a most blessed way, one that could only be of God. How I count the joy that all experienced this morning.
Let me explain. We have a box in the closet, its “the prize box”. This is where we store lots of goodies (dollar store goodies but still) for the kids to enjoy after their work is completed. Its been awhile though so I wanted to update it with some new, fun stuff. As we wandered through the dollar store this morning, we met the sweetest old man. We learned that he has no family, no grandchildren. But he loves to go about the city and bless large families that he sees. He followed us about the store for a bit watching my kids as they chose, carefully, what items they wanted to bring home. My boys and their football cards, their bow and arrow, card game and puzzle. My daughters princess wand and cards. A few books for our at home learning and some shelf liners I have been meaning to gather. Fabric markers too, so my oldest can do his own designs on some shirts he has. And I got myself a few pens and a fun notebook for writing in. And a dog bone or two for our doggies. No extravagant spending but still, as a larger family, I like to keep us as frugal as possible.
Needless to say each time we saw this old man in the store, he had some sweet word for us. “Beautiful children”, and “so blessed you are” were two of the things he said to me. He spoke of how precious family is, how wonderful children are and how much joy he gets from seeing their joy. His words ring in my ears still (hours later) and his kindness towards us, it still warms my heart. Because he talked of the value of slowing down, of taking time to enjoy and capture those moments of sheer happiness. Because they are so precious. As we were checking out, he came to the cashier and informed her that he was purchasing “all of this family items”. I was shocked; I was touched. I admit there was some embarrassment (?) I struggled with for a moment. And I admit, I challenged him, for a moment, that he did not need to do such a thing. But he would not relent and he explained how this very act will bring him a great deal of joy. This is when I learned he had no family, no grandchildren, that he sees. And so I offered, a meal? Church? Of course I encouraged him to come, visit the church where we worship. We would happily welcome you there!
My oldest son was in awe. He thanked him he told him that surely, he was an angel sent from God and that he would pray for him to be truly blessed. My son talked about how this is what God wants his Kingdom and HIs people to be. Loving others, giving more than receiving. Blessing one another.
My children, every one of them, saw a moment today, that is a powerful lesson. .Someone who is a stranger to us, yet has such a love in their heart, such a desire to reach out and give, that they cross that line so few of us are willing to cross. Its beautiful. It saddens me at the same time because…Honestly, I could do more. I think of moments that a simple kindness would have been such a blessing to another and yet I was too busy to stop.. I had my hands full with my children and it was easier to just go than to take a moment to be kind to someone in need. And then I remember an older women who got the biggest grin on her face because my daughter was singing and dancing to “Glorious….” in the grocery store aisle…..Or the older couple who took such joy from hearing my boys talking about who liked best, Daniel or Joshua or Peter or Barnabas or Goliath… Life is full of moments, and full of people who are put in our path for a reason. How it saddens me to think of opportunities that have come our way, that i have missed. And how much the kindness of this elderly man, the conversation we shared together, how it reminds me and inspires me to slow down. To do a kindness for another.
My hands may be “full” as so many seem to tell me whenever I am out with my four children, but certainly that is reason all the more to take the time to show a kindness. To be that salt and light; how else will our children learn the value and power of a simple kind act, if not that they see us stop to be kind?