We’ve all had those moments when we are compelled do something nice for a perfect stranger. I love the rush of goodness that comes with doing something for another person who you don’t know and they have no idea who provided the random act of kindness.
I’m going to start this first blog by telling you of one such act that has started a series of events and some of you have heard this story, but I want to share another time.
Back in June while I was taking chemo, sporting my bald head and a baseball cap, a friend and I went out for dinner at Applebee’s. When I was pulling into a spot an elderly couple grabbed my spot, but I let them go in front of me.. no this wasn’t my act of kindness, but I smiled and they smiled back at me. He helped her out of the car, while I waited. They reminded me of my parents when they were alive, so it warmed my heart. As I got out of the car I noticed a poster in their backseat saying Happy 60th Anniversary June 1957-June 2017. I stopped and thought my parents would’ve been married 60 years as well… it really touched my heart.
I went into the restaurant, where we were seated in the booth next to this nice couple, but I couldn’t stop thinking about all the precious times I had celebrated anniversaries with my parents. The memories flooded my brain, as the evening went on other friends came into the restaurant and it was fun to chat with friends I hadn’t seen in awhile. As the check for my dinner came, I asked the waitress to bring me the bill of the couple in the next booth, as well as a slip of paper to write a note.
I wrote a note saying Happy Anniversary and how they had blessed me with an evening of great memories of my own parents who would’ve celebrated their 60th Anniversary this year, so I was buying their dinner to say thank you for bringing out those precious memories. I asked the waitress to give them the note after I left the restaurant, so they wouldn’t know who bought them dinner.
I got up to leave and the precious wife grabs my arm and says “If anybody can beat Cancer it’s going to be you with your positive energy and smile. I’ll be praying for you”. I think I mumbled Thank You as tears started to flow down my cheeks. She had no idea I had just bought her dinner, but she gave me an incredible gift of kindness. Wow! I thought I was the one giving the random act of kindness!
Over the next several weeks I thought about the couple and how the wife had blessed me with her kind words.
In August, I went to the doctor where I learned the chemo I had taken over the previous 6 months hadn’t worked. I would need to do some other treatment. I was really bummed, because as many of you know chemo isn’t easy, but I’m always willing to try treatments. It just seemed I couldn’t get ahead of this Cancer.
The next day I went to the office, but I was discouraged thinking about what might happen over the next several months as I continue to fight this battle. We don’t check the office mailbox very often, but a friend of mine brought in the mail. One of the envelopes was a weathered envelope looking as though it might contain a card. It was from Iowa…. I don’t know anyone from Iowa. As I opened the card dated back in June it was a Thank You card from my little 60th Anniversary couple. They had gone to the trouble to find out who I was and located my office address. They wrote a special note that really lighten my heart and brought my attitude back to a positive perspective.
After several weeks I wrote a note telling them how they helped me once again. Their note had arrived several weeks before I found it, but it was at the precise time I needed it. It seemed a new friendship was being formed from a tiny gesture of dinner.
In November, I was asked to speak at church. I contemplated over several verses, but finally landed on a couple of verses that had been my go to verses as I fought my battle of Cancer. One of the verses was Roman 8:28 “We know that all things worked for the good of those who love the Lord” . The day before I was to speak, I started really doubting if I was delivering the right message…. Then, I received a card from my little couple…. in the card he says he felt our meeting was orchestrated by the Lord just as Romans 8:28 says! Wow, confirmation I selected the right verse for my message tomorrow.
Coincidence, I THINK NOT, I believe the hand of the Lord was involved in my first meeting back in June. This little couple has inspired and encouraged me! Someday we will meet again… in the meantime we continue to write cards back and forth.
I share this long winded story to remind us that simple acts of kindness to others comes back to repay us ten fold. It may not be via the person who received your act of kindness, but it comes back in glorious fashion in some other way!