Once again, it struck me how such small acts of kindness carve smiles into stiff hearts.
I saw it at the nursing home the other day. A gentleman stopped by to visit a resident and played a tune on the piano for her. Pretty soon the dining room was full of folks who had wheeled their chairs down to listen to the music. The piano player obliged and played old tunes. “I want a Girl just like the Girl that married Dear Old Dad,” or “Alexander’s Ragtime Band”. Folks may have had a blank stare on their faces, but their lips were moving as unused words came back to them.
In another instance, a friend had left her purse in a shopping cart after buying groceries at a big box store. She realized it when she arrived home and made a frantic call to the service desk. An employee volunteered to immediately go out and look for her purse. He found it. Still sitting in the shopping cart. No one had touched a thing.
I volunteer at a cooking school for very young mothers who didn’t have the chance to finish highschool. The class is taught by 2 chefs and they show how to make a quick, nutritious, inexpensive meal, then the students take home supplies to make the dinner for their family. Attendance varies each week because …well because there are all sorts of challenges that come up for these young ladies. The rule is: If you don’t show up, you don’t get food to take home.
But the coordinator of the program manages to scrounge enough supplies to make a small take-home basket for the missing girls. “You know, the ones who can’t come are the ones who need help the most,” she says quietly. She’ll make sure they have at least one good meal this week.
It reminds me to be kind instead of judgemental. To pause for a moment and share a word. To believe in people.
Because there’s hope in those occasional moments of grace, isn’t there?