Every 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.
Linking to: Homemaker on a Dime Between Naps on the Porch