a random act of kindness…

Today I experienced being on the receiving end of a random act of kindness.  It was in the evening, at our local grocery store.  I was with my daughter, squatting down with her looking at something on the bottom shelf.  We were talking, when all of the sudden I hear this voice talking to me.  I look up, it’s a group of 4 girls.  They appeared to be about 6th/7th grade-ish age.  They asked me if I could do something for them.  A little wary, I agreed, thinking “they look nice enough…”.  They handed me a plain white envelope, and said “can you open this for us?”.  I said, “what for?”.  They said “it’s for a scavenger hunt, we have to have someone open it.”  Knowing about this type of thing where you have to convince unsuspecting people to participate in your scavenger hunt, I said, “okay”.  As I started to tear the envelope open, the girl said, “oh, and you have to keep whatever is inside.” That was a little strange, but I was already in it for the long haul.  I pulled out a piece of cardstock that said “Spreading some Christmas cheer.  Enjoy.”  That was it, nothing else.  Then, I realized that there was something else in the envelope.  I pulled it out… it was a $50 bill!  I was dumbstruck (and that doesn’t happen often or easily!).  I said “is this for real?”  And they (and one of the girls mom that was standing at a safe distance) nodded and said yes, it was for real.  I said “you really should find someone who needs this more”.  The mom said “if you know of someone, pass it on”. 

So, after hugs all around, we finished our shopping, still in a little bit of shock.  We didn’t use the money for our bill.  I do know what we’re going to do with it, and I hope it brings as much joy to the people who will receive it as it did to us when we received it.

Now, after a few hours and time to contemplate, I find myself asking, “why don’t we do this more often”?  The one person I strive to model my life after gave everything He had away, and without anyone asking Him to do it.  According to the Bible we’re to be more like Jesus… if He can give His life away for me, what could I possible have to offer that would compare?  NADA!!!  But, that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try. 

This one small event, 5 minutes out of my day, was by far the most significant thing that has happened to me all week.  If it brought joy to us, why would I not want to be a part of giving that joy to someone else? 

So, practice a random act of kindness.  It doesn’t have to be like this one, but I guarantee that it will not only make the receiver happy, it will bring a lightness to you as well.

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