By Robin E. Mason
You’ve all heard the saying, I’m sure, “If you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours.” Easiest thing in the world to do, right? Only, ‘cept, sometimes I’m the one without a smile. Hard to give what I don’t have… Then again, when I smile at someone through my whatever-is-going-on, funny thing happens – MY joy sneaks back in. Giving a smile actually turns into receiving a smile (joy.)
Today was a cold rainy day in our area. Late this afternoon, there was a knock on my door. There stood my sweet friend, Susan, who is recovering – quite nicely, I might add – from a stroke. She brought her husband with her (right up in my messy house) to deliver a generous (two meals for me) portion of her homemade turkey vegetable soup. Don’t you know that made my day! She couldn’t have known it was one of those days I wanted a redo.
More than the soup, though, was the friendship that brought her here. She has come to be one of my most cherished friends, for her thoughtfulness. The soup is just one example of her kindness toward me. There has been coffee (fresh ground, mind you) and cookies (homemade of course) and rides to get places I need to go. Long story, but I don’t have a car – but I do have friends, and I’ll take them over a car! (if I had to choose of course)
In the friends giving rides category, yesterday was one. In lieu of gas money (which I don’t have) I offered to cook supper (scrounge something) and bake brownies for my friend if she could give me a ride to a doctor’s appointment. As we left the doctor’s office, she asked if I had time to ride with her to run an errand she needed to do before 5:00. I looked at the clock, it was already after 4:00; I had no problem riding along. Then she asked if I had eaten at this Mexican restaurant she likes. I hadn’t so she asked if I’d like to go for dinner, her treat. Then we stopped at a bakery for yummies, also her treat. What a boost to my spirit – and my tummy – to be treated to exactly what I had offered to do for my friend.
Sometimes, it’s the little things, things we might not notice. Our trash pick-up is on Mondays, and I hadn’t bothered to roll my trash can back by the house. My daughter, who lives across the street, was heading out for an errand this afternoon. I noticed as she stopped her truck and snugged her hood over her – it was raining pretty hard at the time – and rolled my trash can back by the house for me. Little things.
A note arrives in the mail, a message or post on Facebook that really touches my heart. Or, perhaps, it’s something I’ve shared that touches someone’s heart. A kind word in season, a hug – one of my sweet friends at church hugs me and doesn’t let go. I’ve read that hugs that last more than twenty seconds (I think) are therapeutic. She hugs perhaps a full minute, maybe more. I live alone, so hugs is huge to me. (I love my kitties but for all their kitty love and affection, it just ain’t the same!)
We never know what random (act of kindness) that seems so insignificant might be received as the token that turned a “horrible awful bad day” around. We never know what long reaching effect our words may have.
A word spoken in due season, how good it is (Proverbs 15:23).
Turns out, small acts of kindness aren’t so small after all.
Robin E. Mason has been writing since 1995, and began working in earnest on her debut novel, Tessa in 2013. She resides in the Upstate of South Carolina since 1988. She is currently working on Clara Bess, the sequel to Tessa, which will be released in November of this year.