Recently someone asked, “What is the kindest thing anyone has ever done for you?
There are many things people have done over the years that have been tremendous kindnesses. It is
very insanely impossibly difficult to name which would be the kindest.
But once in a while, someone will do something that actually brings me to tears. And that is saying something. I’ve never been the emotional type. Even the saddest of movies don’t normally moisten my eye. At the very most, I might have
Several years ago, I was part of a military scrapbooking group. We would encourage one another with our creations, do decoration swaps and other fun stuff. I would periodically share pages where the photos were of my family geocaching together.
One day a member of the group wrote me the most heart-felt and endearing letter. My talking about geocaching encouraged her to get her family out and start enjoying the sport. One year, her sister came to visit for a holiday. Her sister and her had had a very tumultuous relationship. They had nothing in common and did not get along at all. In the letter she explained that she dreaded seeing her sister because the visits always spiraled down into huge fights. It reminded me of the rocky relationship with own my sister.
But that year had been different, she said. She and her sister and their kids went geocaching. She said that her sister and her finally had something in common. They finally enjoyed their time together. She thanked me for repairing the relationship with her sister, unawares.
I still have the letter. It was so emotional and sweet and touched me dearly.
Another event that may seem small, but truly touched me, was a phone call.
In 2004, I had just moved into a new house on Fort Bragg, because my former neighbors were a nightmare on steroids. My husband of course was deployed and I had to do all of it alone. I was extremely stressed, didn’t really have the money for a move, but really felt like the safety of my children were at risk. We had to move. In the process of moving in, I needed to have my satellite dish installed and needed my utility lines marked. The guy came and painted the ground. Then it snowed and covered all the marks on the ground, so I called to reschedule my satellite installation. When I gave the lady my address, she realized I lived on a military installation, and that I was an army wife. When she found out that my husband was deployed, she was practically in tears. She then went on to give me the most sincere, heart wrenching thanks for the service of my husband and for our sacrifice. She said that she would be praying for me and my husband. Her sincerity was so raw that I found myself struggling for composure. Again, that is saying something, because I am not easily moved.
I’ll occasionally get the “thank you for your service” or “thank you for your husband’s service” comments from people, but they tend to be rote. That lady’s wishes were far from it, and I will never forget it. I was going through such a rough time, and her words were just what I needed to hear. The kind words of a stranger, timed just when I needed them.
To some, these might not seem like life-changing kindnesses…but it only goes to show how much those little things can mean to someone.
So the next time you are walking through the commissary and you see a young mom with well-behaved and polite kids – let her know how proud you are of her. Or when you are walking through the PX and you see someone that is dressed very nicely – give them a complement. Don’t just think those nice things, say them. You never know, today might just be the day that they really needed to hear a kind word.
She opens her mouth in wisdom, And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. Prov 31:26