The Little Things

This is a Watercooler Wednesday post…

We were having dinner tonight to celebrate Mace’s 5th birthday.  My parents had driven an hour to watch the boys’ t-ball game and then we ate at one of our favorite places - Joe’s Pizza & Pasta on Rogers Avenue.  We were having fun, laughing and talking but at some point I became aware of a guy sitting by himself across the room from us.  He was a military man, easily recognizable by his uniform.  He was a married man according to the ring on his finger.  And he seemed quite lonely, judging by his reaction to the other families sitting all around him.  He would smile and nod as he looked from table to table at the moms & dads interacting with their children, sharing their meal together.

I thought about this man and the sacrifice he is making to keep us free and have the ability to sit in a restaurant with our family and enjoy our time together.  He was far away from his wife & children.  I could just tell by the way he looked around the room that he missed them and home.

I often like performing random acts of kindness and saw the opportunity to bless this lonely soldier who missed his kids & wife.  Maybe I felt a little guilty that I was sitting there enjoying my family - all of us together.  I asked our waitress about his bill and she pointed me to his server.  I got his check and paid for it when I paid for ours.  It wasn’t much for us to do, but I know he appreciated it because he found out it was us and walked over to thank us.  As we headed out the door, I thanked him for what he is doing for our country.  Sometimes it’s the little things that add up.  Those unexpected opportunities to bless someone who isn’t expecting it.  I’m glad God is putting this in my heart more and more and can’t wait for the next opportunity to develop.

What’s the coolest, random act of kindness you’ve done lately?  If you haven’t what do you think it could be? Remember the little things are important and can make a huge difference in someone’s life and even make an eternal impact.


marina  on May 27th, 2008

Confession: I don’t find myself being randomly kind very often…I recently was with three girlfriends enjoying breakfast when the manager came up to us and said that a customer had already paid for our breakfast, including tip. That was unexpected and humbling and random and kind. I vowed in that moment that I’d take the very next opportunity I could to “pay it forward” for someone else. That opportunity hasn’t come up yet, although I do feel like I am almost always as purposefully kind as I can be, but the random, impulsive act of kindness - I think I’m too absorbed in the next thing or place on my to-do list to really live with that kind of abandon…thanks for the reminder.

Audra Krell  on May 27th, 2008

I paid for the sour looking woman’s coffee in the car behind me at Starbucks, turns out she had ordered for her whole office - big bill! I hope she told everyone the story though, and that many more were blessed beside her!

Eric  on May 27th, 2008

I give my accounts grace when they pay late. Thanks for this post. It will remind me to do more like this tomorrow.

Jonathan  on May 27th, 2008

Wow, that’s awesome, Audra! And thanks for being so open, Marina!

That’s great, Dave! Not to try to embarrass you here on your site, but I remember the day that we met several weeks back, you made a similarly kind gesture. I can tell you’re consistently a very kind and generous person; keep it up, bro!

As for myself, nothing earth-shattering comes to mind as of the last couple weeks. A couple weekends ago, I met some cool people who were selling handmade pottery at a stand in a street fair. At the end of the fair, I stopped by and kept them company for an hour or two and helped tear down the booth. I got to learn quite a bit about pottery and made a couple of new friends. They invited me to come up north and spend a day with them sometime to see their shop and go hiking together.

I felt a little bad, because there were several times during the conversation that they bad-mouthed conservatives, and I let it slide (and I’ve got no qualms about that). However, later they asked how I know my roommate, and I said we’d known each other from church back in Michigan. :o) They looked a little surprised, and in the next couple of minutes mentioned several positive things about one particular local conservative community.

I’m glad for putting a more positive image in their minds of what Christian or conservative can look like, but I feel bad for their little moment of shock. Perhaps it couldn’t be avoided given the circumstances… :o)

Paul J.  on May 28th, 2008

I haven’t taken the opportunities lately, and I really appreciate the reminder…

dorianmunro  on April 18th, 2009

Cool site! I am impressed with all you have going on here. God bless you!

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