Be Purposeful in Your Random Acts of Kindness

The purpose of a newspaper headline is to capture your attention, so you will read the article.  The same is true with the bold heading on the pages of the internet.  They scream of a horrible crime, announce a recent tragedy, and some of them announce a random act of kindness.

I like random acts of kindness, and I’ve included a few that I found this morning:

  • A waitress at the Route 6 Café was stunned to find a diner had left a $1,000 tip for a $15.61 meal.
  • Whenever golfer Phil Mickelson sees kids selling lemonade stand, he buys a cup with a $100 bill and walks away.
  • Tamba Hali of the Kansas City Chiefs recently left a $1,000 tip at a steakhouse
  • After Bubba Watson won the Masters in April, he left a $148 tip at a Waffle House.

You might say, “Those are people who are wealthy and they can afford to do that.”  True, but they were not required to do it.

A few days prior to Christmas, I was given some money with the instructions:  “Use it however you can to help whoever needs it.”  I purchased 10 hams and several gifts cards and gave them in acts of random kindness to people I met.

To many of these people, the ham meant they would have a good meal for Christmas.  The gift cards, at least for a moment, removed the wrinkles that the framed the faces of people stressed by the worries of life.  Every one of the people who received the gift expressed their gratitude for this kind act made possible by the person who funded the effort.

One lady wrote a letter that said:  “I would like to think the man from your church who gave me and my children the gift card.  It was a wonderful act of kindness and great lesson for my children.”

When she was a child, Traci Bild and her brother scrounged up some spare change and decided to buy a Christmas Tree.  They showed the salesman their handful of change in their tiny palms, and he said:  “I think I have the perfect tree for you.” He walked away and came back with the largest tree on the lot.”

The Huffington Post printed a recent article of Bild’s as she retells this story to her children:  “Not too long ago I took my kids to Urbana, where I grew up. Driving past the cemetery we decided to pull in. “I want to show you something,” I said. I pulled up to what is now Jugs gravesite and tears fell from my eyes as I saw his name inscribed in stone. I told my kids about his amazing generosity to me both when I was a child of seven in search of that tree and later again in life as a teen of 15 in search of a job (he hired me to work at the Dairy Queen). This man, no longer alive will forever be present in my heart- his single random act of kindness played out in my mind over a lifetime. He probably had no idea what kind of impact he made on my life and that is what makes this story so special. He gave from the kindness of his heart, when no one was looking, because he could. What about you — can you do something unexpected for someone today?”

The kind acts of Jugs were moments that helped to jog the mind of Traci Bild, and set her on the right path in life.  What kind deed will you do?

Paul never used the phrase, random act of kindness, but he encouraged you to behave in such a way:  “Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality (Romans 12:10-13).”

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