Two weeks ago, after my column on kindness appeared on this page, I saw a friend who said, “I really enjoy your column. I look for it and I really liked the one this week.”
I thought, “What did I write on this week?” I had moved on, already thinking about my next one.
“You mean the one on kindness?” I asked.
“Yes, let me tell you what happened. I just read your column when one of our patients came for his appointment, but he owed a large sum of money. He couldn’t speak English very well and was having a hard time understanding. Another man in the waiting room got up, took out his credit card and paid the man’s bill – almost $1700 – right there on the spot. Our receptionist turned to me and asked, ‘Can he do that?’ and I said, ‘Yes!’ The patient was quite touched.”
Kindness translates into any language.
A church member shared about her trip to Publix. She quickly ran in to pick up a few items and the store was extremely busy. A cashier opened another register and the member motioned for the customer in front of her to go ahead and get in line. She stood behind her and placed her purchases on the belt while the lady in front checked out, then left the store.
The cashier rang up her bill and said, “That will be $5.37.”
The lady said, “Wait a minute. I got more stuff than that. I owe you more than $5.37.”
The cashier said, “Your bill was $25.37 but the lady in front of you gave me $20 and told me to apply it to your purchase. So, you owe $5.37.” She attempted to thank the generous customer, but she’d disappeared.
That same week, I visited a church member in the hospital. His wife and two friends were downstairs eating lunch so after praying with him, I headed down to catch the wife.
I sat across from Ronnie and he said, “Let me tell you about a blessing that God gave my little sister.” His sister put a deposit down on a house to rent and then her situation changed and she needed to move closer to her daughters. But she couldn’t afford to break her lease. So, she was stuck even though she felt strongly she was being led in a different direction.
She shared her dilemma with an acquaintance and the lady asked, “How much is the deposit?”
“$600,” she replied.
The acquaintance reached into her purse and pulled out $600 and, handing it over, said, “I live a charmed life. I am blessed. Please take this and use it on your lease.” The recipient was dumbfounded but the giver insisted.
We never know the impact our kindness will have.
After Ronda Rich spoke at the cancer survivors’ luncheon hosted by Piedmont Fayette Hospital, people lined up to purchase the best-selling author’s books and have their pictures taken with the writer.
One very young couple stood in line and when it was their turn, she requested a picture. Ronda asked, “You’re not a survivor, are you?”
She said, “Yes, I am” and began to tell her story. Thyroid cancer, so they removed the thyroid. Then it spread to other places and that required more surgeries. She’s now been a survivor for two years but she’s not completely clear, she said. Tests reveal more cells, but they can’t locate them.
After the husband took their picture, she handed Ronda a copy of the anniversary edition of What Southern Women Know (That Every Woman Should).
“Is it $20?” Before her husband could whip out his wallet another gentleman standing nearby, inspired by her courageous spirit and touched by her story, pulled out a twenty and paid for the book. (Shared in News from Ronda Rich Creative email newsletter, 6/20/19).
It doesn’t take a whole lot of effort to be kind, whether it is slipping a bill to the cashier for the customer behind you or letting another driver pull out in front of you. We need regular doses of kindness to offset the meanness we hear about every day on the evening news.
There’s no such thing as a small act of kindness and even small kindnesses can bring extraordinary encouragement. How can you show kindness today?
[Dr. David L. Chancey is pastor, McDonough Road Baptist Church, Fayetteville, Georgia. The church family gathers at 352 McDonough Road, just past McCurry Park, and invites you to join them this Sunday for Bible study at 9:45 and worship at 10:55 a.m. Visit them online at www.mcdonoughroad.org.]