Sometimes you never know the power of kindness and how easily you can change a life…I had a conversation yesterday with one of my children that really touched my heart deeply……And so, of course I will share it with you.
This is a picture of both of our sons, Trent (left) and Brent on the right. Yes, they were born in the 80’s–the era of matching sibling names, lol! 😉 But both of them love to reach out and help others in every way that they can, in fact, Tiffany is very much that same way too. I don’t think any of them have ever put much thought into why they are so deeply moved to help others, that is, at least not until now.
I’m inspired by each of our kids and the good they do, but my story is going to focus on a really neat insight that Brent and I had one day.
He typically keeps his acts of kindness to himself, but while living in Costa Rica, one of Brent’s friends learned that he had personally re-built and stocked a Costa Rican Soup Kitchen that had been out of service after an Earthquake. This friend became aware of a couple other things Brent had done as well, and was intrigued.
He asked Brent if he had ever had a moment in his life when he had gone hungry or something that may have sparked his desire to help others.
Brent thought for a moment, and then it hit.
Some childhood memories came to his mind. He remembered that we had been very poor.
He vividly remembered a particular Christmas. I’m sure Brent could sense the stress my husband and I were under as we didn’t know if we would have a Christmas at all that year. So at night when the kids were in bed, I started cutting out some fabric scraps and made 2 small teddy bears, and a tiny cloth doll topped with yellow yarn hair. On each of their chests, I drew hearts that said, “I love you.” It really hurt to think that those would be their exclusive gifts that year, but it was all we could do.
Brent’s memories took him to one meager night before Christmas as we were cleaning the kitchen when someone pounded loudly on our apartment door. We looked at the rattling door. We hadn’t been expecting anyone, and looked out the peep hole into the darkness. No one was there.
We opened the door to a sight we had never expected.
Christmas, in all it’s splendor, was laid out before us. There were baskets and boxes overflowing with food, toys, and more Christmas gifts and goodies than we could’ve ever dreamed of.
Yes, each of our eyes turned into faucets, flooding with tears.
We were all moved in ways that words can’t even begin to describe. Our hearts pounded with gratitude.
We never found out who those angels were, but we began to look at everyone we saw with a deeper respect, appreciation and love. It was a great act of service that we’ll never forget…. but that’s not where this story ends…
It was at that moment, when Brent sat reflecting upon his childhood memories that the pieces of his life started coming together.
Those overwhelming feelings of gratitude, love for people he couldn’t ever thank, and witnessing the joy-filled tears that flooded our hearts and filled our souls….Brent realized then, that those were the very feelings that made him want to reach out to others in need. It was a subconscious thing that he never identified until that day.
It’s amazing to realize the power behind one simple act of kindness.
Those generous people probably assumed that their gifts would temporarily lift the spirits of a downtrodden family. They did. But they also completely re-defined the direction of the lives of 3 small children, forever.
And we will never know how many other lives have been changed because of what was done for our family 25 years ago. I’ve come to believe that the power of kindness truly has no end.
I’m so grateful for good hearted people who teach us all how to be. Sometimes we hear so much about the bad things going on in this world, but it’s refreshing to reflect upon the astonishing power behind one single act of kindness.
Now go and have a wonderful day!
Please share your thoughts, we LOVE hearing from you!
Laurie & Tiffany