Tuesday, February 4, 2014

A Random Act of Kindness

Last week I had a doctor's appointment.  As I was driving to the doctor's, the low-fuel light came on in my car.  I am a little paranoid about this, so when I was leaving the doctor's, I decided to stop at the SELF-SERVE gas station on the corner instead of driving the 3 more miles to my regular gas station.  I went into the store to pay my money, but no one was at the register.  I waited patiently and in about a minute, a man came down the aisle and apologized for not immediately helping me.

"$30 on pump 2, please," I said.
"OK, would you like help with that?"
"Excuse me?"
"Would you like help with that?"
"Uhmmmmmm, well, I wouldn't refuse!"

Did you see the bold print on the words in the opening paragraph - SELF-SERVE?
I was astounded!!
The gentleman actually came out and pumped the gas for me!!

I can't even begin to tell you how this simple act of kindness blessed me and blessed the rest of my day!!  What joy lit up my heart!
Lest you think I got a little "carried away" by what may seem to you as a "small act", let me tell you about my history. For those of you who don't know, I never pumped gas a day in my life until my husband died. He always did it for me. When he was first ill and in the hospital, this was a very big deal for me. I didn't know how to pump the gas, but I had no choice - the car was on empty and it needed to be filled. One late, very cold February night, I was on the way home from the hospital. I saw an open gas station ahead and decided it was probably a good idea to stop in and "get it done." I went inside the store and asked the service clerk if he could please help me as I had never done this before. The man was extremely rude to me, hollered at me and made me feel like the dumbest broad around. He did come out and help me, but complained the entire time. By the time I left the station, I was near tears!

So, this act of kindness that involved pumping gas was a very big deal to me!!

I reflected on this kindness most of the day - how much it meant to me - and how much better our world would be if we would all practice these simple acts of kindness every day.  And if it touched me so much, a random act of kindness probably touches others in the same way.

To think that I could actually do something to produce that same kind of feeling in someone else!!  Wow!  Who knows the deep place we may touch in another by our "small" act of kindness??

We go through our days so caught up in our own stuff, we often forget about others. 
It's all about ME! 
We forget or we don't take the time to practice those "random acts of kindness" and this small act, which was no small act to me, served to remind me that I need to be more mindful to practice kindness myself on a regular basis.

I have been given so much in this life and have been blessed beyond measure by the Lord; how can I not give back what's been given to me? 
I am blessed;
I can be a blessing! 
I can be the gift!

"God calls me to do thanks.  To give the thanks away. That Thanks-giving might literally become thanks-living.  That our lives become the very blessings we have received."  (Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts)
Just as that act of kindness brought joy to my heart, I could be the joy given to another heart!

"Lord," I prayed, "please help me on a daily basis to be mindful of those I could bless by simple acts of kindness.  Open my eyes, Lord, to the opportunities around me all the time to show your love and kindness to others."

As Christians, we need to be different.  We need to be the hands and feet of Jesus in this world.  We need to live a life in service to others.  But our service is unto the Lord, not to man.

"And whatsoever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not to men;"
Colossians 3:23

"The work we do is only our love for Jesus in action," writes Mother Teresa.  "If we pray the work...if we do it to Jesus, if we do it for Jesus, if we do it with Jesus....that's what makes us content."

Today I can bless others.
Today I can be the blessing.
I can be the gift.


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