Sunday, September 21, 2008

52 Blessings--Random Acts of Kindness

It's as Mark Twain said, "Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see." The last few hours I've received several random acts of kindness, just little things but little things that made my life better. Here are four examples:

  • A friend saw an article on Abraham Lincoln that she thought I might enjoy and e-mailed it to me. I don't know which I enjoyed most, the article or the idea that she was looking out for me.

  • Our neighbors called to borrow our ice cream freezer. When the daughter came to get it she brought us a stack of magazines to read and stayed a few minutes to visit. Her merry laugh was delightful. Later they needed hot peppers and since I still have lots in the garden the daughter was soon at our door again. Because I was in the middle of canning peaches, I just hollered "Come in" out the kitchen window when she knocked. She came in the door waving envelopes and said, “Here’s your mail!” She reminded me of Mr. McFeely saying, "Speedy delivery." Our mailbox is ¼ mile down the road and she had stopped to bring it to us. Her fun laugh, the free magazines, hand delivered mail . . . good, kind gifts.

  • A friend called and left a message that I was being thought of and hoped I was adjusting and okay with being an empty-nester. The message was later followed up with a wonderful phone call.

  • I got a call from an 82 year old woman named Betty. She lives in a farming community not far from ours. She asked if I was Mrs. Payne and when I told her I was she said, “I have a son who lives in Taiwan with his family. He ran into your son this week and said to call you right away and tell you your son is just fine.” She went on to explain that after her son had met Ty and learned that as a missionary he didn’t have frequent phone contact with us, her son called his mother and told her to immediately call us and give us a report on Ty. Literally, this was a game of Telephone and not only do I love a fun game, but that two strangers would take the time and effort to play and pass on a message that was intended for me made it the game of games this week.

It really is true, "Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness." (Seneca) I'm grateful for people taking the opportunity to show me kindness.

How about you? What's a random act of kindness that you have enjoyed this week?


deidra said...

I love Mr. McFeeley. (I love Mr. Rogers even more.)

I love that people will go out of their way to let a stranger know that their relatives are doing well. It's a good feeling.

My [not-so-handy] husband fixed my closet door this week. It is one of those little things that makes such a big difference!

linda said...

I have been blessed twice this week with good mail for blogging friends. These 2 special people took the time to send me things that I've mentioned in past posts, really taking the time to make these gifts personal. Both of these dear blogging friends are a hugh blessing to me.

I love the story of your telephone call from Betty. I truly am on the lookout for a missionary here in my town so I can talk to them and then call their mother.

Neighbors personally delivering your mail...unheard of in Calif. That's why were on the lookout for that special place to move either in WA, OR, or CO. Any suggestions!

tina said...

I like to do random acts of kindness, wish I did it more often (the still small voice thoughts that I should follow more!). I did make a couple birthday cards for people that work me. I also texted a friend for her birthday. I like to remember birthdays with handmade cards.

Marie said...

The telephone call was perhaps one of the sweetest R.A.K that I have ever heard. Such effort to assure a stranger that her child is well is heartwarming.

Somehow I didn't put it together that you are an empty nester now. Are you doing okay? Change is a good thing, but it doesn't always feel that way.

melanie said...

What a gift to get a phone call about Ty. So unexpected and welcome. You do have amazing kids.

Jill said...

It's so good to read about nice things like these.

A stranger said "bless you" when I sneezed at Target last week and I thought that was mighty nice. I tend to do that, but haven't been on the receiving end before.

Julie said...

A friend came and decorated Becka's room for her birthday today. A sister missionary that had been transferred out of our area called to see how I was doing and I appreciated hearing how she was doing. After I talked to her I emailed some pictures I had of her to her mom. I love that you got to hear how Ty was! I hope that someone does that for me and my boys someday!

I miss Mr.Rogers. I had forgotten about Mr. McFeeley but I remembered fondly after you mentioned it!

Julie said...

Mr. McFeeley had a great bike!

Lucy said...

Jane! I love this post! I love kindness and especially when people notice the small, simple stuff. It really counts and is felt.

HeatherM said...

I had someone call their mom and tell them to call me at work to find out our business phone number. Nice of them to go out of their way, for sure. I love random acts! Now, I'm going to make sure I do one this week - paying for the person behind me in the drive-through is my favorite.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful list. I think it would be so great to record these kinds of things from time to time.

My most recent was actually through my husband. We were at a city event at our downtown park. Women were moving huge tables past where we were waiting in line. This elderly looking lady was helping carry a table and I was holding a fussing Kaylee so I couldn't jump up to help like I normally would. Linc followed my gaze and without a word to me walked over and took the table from her. Oh how my heart swelled right then!

Becky said...

My husband has done dozens of little things for me (he always does) especially since I have been sick the past few days.

But my favorite acts of kindness are the ones I get to give...there is such a sweet feeling in helping fact I've been "writing" a blog post on service in my head for the last week that I'm hoping to type up this weekend.

Being able to serve is truly a blessing!

Your stories made me get all choked up by the way...

Amy said...

So much beauty coming your way, Jane. It's as much a reflection on you as on those who gave their kindness. I think you're amazing!