Brenda Nail DeLauder
A young mother stood in line at the pharmacy holding a very unhappy toddler. It didn’t take much imagination to see the boy’s ears were bothering him as he tugged continuously on his lobes. Directly behind them in line was an older gentleman leaning on a cane, but instead of focusing on his own pains, he started playing peek-a-boo with the child. Even though the little face was still wet with tears, a smile began to grow and soon happy sounds replaced his sad ones. The man gave a simple act of kindness, not only to the child and his weary mother, but to everyone in the long line.
Bailey, the neighborhood escape artist dog, bolted out the side door that had been left ajar. He was going to catch up with his master who had just left for work. It would not be good if he got to the highway, so while the family jumped in their car to go after him, others slowed him down by calling his name. Then Marcel, a young man coming home from a long work shift, happened to be turning into the community, saw what was happening and took control. By the time Bailey’s family arrived, he was sitting politely beside Marcel, as if he was waiting on them. Marcel gave a few minutes of his time, saving a beloved pet from harm.
The man in the blue Mercedes rolled by the regular walker one morning as he headed out to work. They often exchanged greetings, but that morning he realized the walker was having a problem, so he doubled back to check on her. She was feeling better and thanked him profusely, but turned down his offer to take her home. Later she learned he had driven around the block to be sure she had arrived home safely. Kindness is such a wonderful gift to give or receive.
Weary of all the horrible news which seems to cover most forms of media, I go in search of lighter topics and often type in “random acts of kindness” on various websites. I usually look for stories that appear to truly be spur of the moment responses. Those rescuing animals from highways always catch my attention, as do people who lift up another by a kind act. Sometimes they give food to a homeless person or shoes for their bare feet. Someone who witnesses a horrific accident and places their own life on the line to help rescue the victims, touches me.
Kindness can be shown in so many ways and it’s easy to do. Have you ever been behind someone in line, perhaps a mother with little ones and she is trying to find enough loose change in her purse to buy diapers or formula? It doesn’t cost much to suddenly find a few dollars to help cover the purchases. Or maybe a little boy who is trying to buy his sister a doll, but he’s a little short on money to pay for it. Before the tears come, discreetly “find” the money under the doll on the counter. It will help everyone, including you.
In Luke 10:30-37, Jesus teaches about the Good Samaritan. At the end of the story He asked, “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
Whether we offer a helping hand or we are the recipients, it’s what holds humanity together. The kind act can be small, yet often the perfect size God needs to answer a prayer.
Brenda Nail DeLauder is a native of Henry County. Her heart remains in her hometown.