Often when we think about impacting our world, we only think about impacting it with a big bang. While a big bang certainly will draw attention, it is not the only way to make a difference in the world around us. I am not suggesting big projects should never be done. Sometimes a big bang is what is required in order to minister to people, particularly if there are a large number of people involved. However, sometimes we pour so much of our time, energy and resources into big things; that nothing is left for the little things.
This past month, I have had three individuals make a huge impact in my world. Two of them happened this past weekend. I know that at least one of these individuals is not a Christian. I couldn't tell you whether the other two were or not. In each case, the individual was not looking for any sort of special recognition. They weren't doing it to make themselves look good in front of others because no one else was watching them.
I had been out with a friend one day. When I returned home, I found a large bouquet of fresh cut flowers in a vase on the counter. My husband told me a neighbor had stopped by about an hour before. She had been at the farmer's market and saw some beautiful bouquets. She thought about me and bought one for me. We're not close friends. We've chatted now and then as neighbors do since moving here about a year and a half ago. She knows I'm a cancer survivor. I was really touched that she saw some flowers, thought they might brighten up my day and bought some for me. She impacted my world with her simple gift of kindness.
My husband and I celebrated our anniversary this weekend as he has to work the next two weekends. Our actually anniversary won't be until August 22 and it will be our 27th anniversary. We usually take a short trip or just spend an evening away from home. As we checked into our hotel, the clerk asked us how our trip into the Cities had been. We had to tell her it was a rather short trip and for some reason I felt I had to explain a bit. I told her it was our anniversary in a few weeks and we were just celebrating it by getting away from home, having a nice dinner and going to a play we'd been wanting to see. I was "hair-less" so it was pretty easy to tell I'd been in treatment.
While we were getting ready to go out for the evening, there was a knock at the door. A silver tray with some bottled water and some very delicately molded chocolates were delivered to our door. There was a card from the concierge congratulating us on the celebration of our 27th wedding anniversary. The desk clerk had told on us. She impacted our world with her simple gift of kindness.
We selected two truffles from a list of eighteen different varieties. While wrapping them, the woman selected a third truffle and wrapped it as well. "This is for medicinal purposes." she said with a smile. As I savored the wonderful truffles, I thought about how her simple gift of kindness had made me smile.
While these simple gifts may seem trivial to the giver, I can assure you that as the receiver I did not find them trivial at all. Each act of kindness reminded me that I am not alone in this world. It reminded me that despite the fact that we live in a fallen and sinful world, we were made in the image of God and that is going to come out from time to time.
My neighbor does not profess to follow Christ. I don't know about the other two people. However, as a Christ Follower I must ask myself this question. Am I impacting others the way these people made an impact on me? As a Prince or Princess of God, our answer needs to be yes!
Thank you for posting this reminder that it's often the simplest kindnesses that have the longest lasting impact.
About 15 years ago, when I was still an active duty US Army soldier, I was the recipient of such an act myself.
An older lady, probably in her early 60s, paused her busy day and where she was headed to in a hurry, to open a door for me and to tell me "Thank you for your service to our country." You see, I was wearing my uniform that day while going to pay a bill.
I tell people about this to this day. And it never fails to bring a tear to my eye. Her kindness is most definitely remembered.
Much love in Christ, to a fellow Princess