Dan was on his way out to the post office the other day to mail a couple of good-sized boxes. As he was pulling out of the drive, the daily mailman pulled up. Dan, in greeting him, told him he was just on his way to the post office to mail some boxes. David, our postman, said he would be happy to take them and save him the trip. Dan, surprised, told David they were rather large boxes. No matter, said David, and a good deed transpired.
Just after that event, Ellie, our 11-year-old granddaughter, who had spent a couple days at our house, accompanied me to the clubhouse for lunch. During the meal, she excused herself to go to the bathroom. When she came back she related to me another good deed. There was a cleaning lady in the bathroom when Ellie was there. Ellie thanked her for making the bathroom so clean. The lady, surprised, said she appreciated Ellie’s thank you because no one had ever thanked her before. Then Ellie proceeded to tell her that she and her sisters have been volunteers at campgrounds and had to clean a lot of messes people make, so she knows first-hand how much work it is. I expect that lady was smiling for a long time after her encounter with Ellie. Before we left the lunch table, Ellie thanked Nicole, our server, and told her she had done an excellent job. Yes, I was a proud grandmother, indeed.
Clara, Ellie’s older sister, amuses herself by drawing pictures on little scraps of paper when at a restaurant. She leaves it for the server with a big THANK YOU written on it! I imagine it puts a smile on the face of an otherwise harried, over-worked, and underpaid employee.
A man reaps what he sows.
Galatians 6:7 NIV
It’s interesting how often good things happen to those who expect it. Ellie just expects people to like her and she loves complimenting others. It is her goal in life to make others feel better about themselves and their circumstances. She is quick to show her concern and to comfort anyone she sees in distress. She is the epitome of what I believe we are to show others…in love. In sowing love, we receive it in return. In sowing kindness, we receive it in return. When we live in fear, anger, hostility, un-forgiveness, all we do is perpetuate those feelings in every area of our lives.
I am humbled when I see others reach out in kindness and love and it makes me want to be more like that in my everyday encounters. I don’t want to talk about the horrible state of affairs in our country or our communities. Instead, I want to give a huge smile to the person I pass in the grocery store and give a kind pat on the back to someone who deserves it. Covid-19 has, unfortunately, taken away the smiles for many people. And for many, it has brought out behaviors that push others away, rather than showing love. Living in fear does that.
Children aren’t usually encumbered with worry, fear, and stress. They just live their daily lives in the moment. They see beauty and light everywhere and embrace it. Perhaps we need to take note and learn from them. Embrace the moment and reach out in love to others.
So the questions I have for you this week:
How can you show love and appreciation to all those with whom you come in contact?
How can you put a smile on someone’s face who might be weary with the stress of the day?
How can you be more “Ellie-like” in your encounters with a stranger you meet?
I hope you get really creative with finding ways to reach out!