Are random acts of kindness a dying phenomenon?

random acts of kindness chapter37Every now and then, something happens in life that will stick in your memory for a good long while. One of those type things happened to me once, about this same time of the year, which I suppose is what brought it back to my mind. The Mister had just gotten out of the Marine Corps, and we were headed off to our new civilian life and all its unwritten adventures. The house was cleaned to sparkling perfection, the truck and trailer packed to the last sixteenth of an inch, and our goodbyes said.

After a full day of packing, and five hours on the road, we were bone weary when we pulled into a quiet hotel parking lot in the still of the night. The Mister got out to see about a room. I waited, half asleep, in the truck with the two little girls who had long since given up the fight to stay awake. I watched idly, as an older gentlemen walked up behind the trailer we were pulling and stopped to take a closer look. I’m sure we were a sight to behold…mops, brooms, and random rugs sticking out like chop sticks from a pile of lawn mowers, dog crates and large totes. But still, I grumpily mused to myself, I didn’t think he had much business at all being so nosy. Next thing I knew, he was tapping at the window! Now this was getting weird, and I don’t have much patience for weird happenings when I’m short on sleep…but he didn’t look dangerous, so I rolled the window half way down. Much too cheery than any one person has a right to be in the middle of the night, he sang out with a “Hello! That’s quite a load you’ve got there!”. To which I gave a grudgingly polite answer. He asked several other questions, to which I also returned coolly polite responses too. After I had satisfied his odd thirst for random information he offered me a jolly “Good night miss!” and trotted off inside. I glowered darkly at his retreating back, and thought that if people felt the need to submit questionnaires to random travelers, they should do so at a reasonable hour of the day! Humph!

After an eternity of waiting, the Mister finally climbed back into the truck with an odd expression on his face which I, in my huff, failed to notice. In an irritated tone I announced that a strange man had been wanting to know all sorts of things about us and I’m pretty sure he was laughing at our trailer and just wasn’t that ridiculous! “Well” said the Mister, “Just so happens that strange man just paid for our hotel room!” If he would have said he had decided to sleep in the middle of the highway for the night, I would not have been more dumbfounded than I was at that precise second. Not only had that gentleman paid for our room, but he had paid for a suite, and he had sent out two chocolate bars to give to the little girls! I don’t believe I’ve ever been more at a loss for words than I was just then. People just do not do things like that! Well, apparently they do…and I will never forget that feeling as long as I live. I was deeply, and profoundly grateful. Not because he spent money on us, but because he had chosen to show such kindness to people he had never seen before in his life.

I don’t know that man, I don’t know if he would say he knew God as his personal friend…but I do know this, that man showed what God is like. God sacrificed everything in order to offer me life, and there is absolutely nothing I did or could do to deserve that. I can’t even wrap my mind around a love like that! If I ever saw that man again, I would do two things. First, I would thank him for teaching me a lesson about kindness that I will never forget. Second, I would ask him if he knew that Someone had returned the favor, and did he know he had a permanent home, prepaid in Heaven if he wanted it.

Apparently the gentleman told the Mister in the hotel lobby, that “his wife had been very polite”. Snort! If he only knew! So right along with my lesson on being kind to other people, you can believe I got a good reminder on how being civil to people is always a good choice! I just hope that one day, I can be as much of a blessing to someone else as that man was to me. An act of kindness doesn’t have to be on the “hotel room buying” scale to make it worth our doing either. I think any act of kindness has a way touching people’s hearts and bringing happiness to our own by the very act of doing it.

1 John 4:10   Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 

P.S. This is our day of the week to refocus on what is important. Like what you read? You can read more Refocus Challenge posts HERE.

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About Abby

I'm a mom and blogger. I love all things creative! Follow along at
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6 Responses to Are random acts of kindness a dying phenomenon?

  1. Nancy says:

    My husband and son both served in the Marine Corps.
    Thank your ” Mister ” for his service for me.
    Perhaps the kind gentleman you refer to was a Marine?
    A Christian for sure.GOD Bless.

    • Abby says:

      Thank you Nancy! I’m not sure if he was a Marine at some point or not, I wish I knew more about him. He picked up on it pretty quick though from our sticker on a our truck and my husband’s haircut. I’m not sure if that is what prompted him to do that…but it was beyond kind whatever his reasons were. Thank you so much for coming by today!

  2. Antonella says:

    This is such a great reminder of the grace that exists out there. They say that angels walk among us, and perhaps you were fortunate to meet one that day.

    I listen to a radio station, Star 99.1 and they have something called a “Drive Through Difference” – When you are in line (drive through, coffee shop, etc) and you pay for the person’s order behind you, and leave a note (they have them all made out for you, all you have to do is print it out and leave it for the person). It’s a great idea and so much fun!

    Hugs, antonella :-)

  3. Bev says:

    Hi Abby…thanks for sharing such a wonderful story…our outreach team from our church started a “Secret Samaritan” project encouraging our members to look for ways to do acts of kindness throughout the week. The secret part was they got to write down the good deeds that were done to be shared during church–BUT they could not put any names on it–they could hopefully inspire others to do good deeds through their nameless acts of kindness…it worked for awhile, but has seemed to fizzle…the busy lives we lead do not always lend themselves to see others’ plights and how we could maybe make a difference in their day–big or small…thanks for the reminder that through our RAKs, God’s love is spread to others…smiles and sunshine…Bev

    • Abby says:

      Bev, that’s such a neat idea! You are right, we all get so busy I’m afraid we just forget to notice other people at all. Thank you for taking the time to comment!

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