And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
The news is full of the depraved, perverse, and corrupt. In other words, what we hear about most is the worst that society has to offer. If we listen to the news, we might begin to believe that there is no good in the world. We might begin to believe that kindness doesn’t count. I believe it does. Friday I witnessed 3 acts of kindness that really did matter.
So what do a bike and shopping carts have in common besides the obvious wheels? They were the sources of kindness.
While our co-op group was at the park, one little girl (4) was pedaling her bike around the park. She is fairly new to 2 wheels and her foot slipped and got caught between the bars of the bike frame and the pedal. There was no extracting her foot.
Try as we might, we couldn’t rotate her foot or slide the bike off. We needed to release the back wheel and take the chain off in order to allow the pedal to move backwards due to the pedal brakes. The little girl’s mom had some needle nose pliers and a small pocket knife multi-tool, but none of the tools would loosen the bolt or the screw that were holding the bike together. The little girl was uncomfortable since she was totally tangled in her bike. I sat on the ground holding as much weight as I could and cushioning her foot but it must have been very uncomfortable. We were about to call the fire department to come and untangle her when we noticed a man working on the yard across the street from the park. He had a truck and probably some tools. One of the moms walked over and asked him if he had a wrench we could use to take the bike apart. He dropped everything he was doing and came over to see what was needed. Then he returned with the wrench. Yes! Nut off. Now we pulled the wheel and discovered a screw where the training wheels had been that needed to be removed. Again he returned with the tool we needed. After freeing the wheel, the pedal swung away and the little girl was free. The man returned to working on the yard, and she returned to riding her bike (after her mom put it back together again).
So what happened in the grocery store? The first is something I observed.
There as a gentleman at Trader Joe’s whom I knew was all by himself because he had complemented me on having 4 children (Tiger was at scout camp) and told me I was doing a blessed thing while we had a sample of the treat at the sample table. Later, I got in line to checkout and there was that same man just finished up followed by a woman with a cart, a baby in the cart, and a little girl. I didn’t see the SECOND cart or the OTHER baby in the carrier behind the counter. That same gentleman was putting her groceries in the cart as fast as the checker could bag them. As the checker was finishing checking her out, he asked if she needed help and she looked at the gentleman packing her up her cart and told the checker, “Apparently not!” I thought that was very kind of the man. Then when I saw the mother pick up the second baby carrier, I realized she had had 2 carts with twin babies in 2 car seats, and a little girl about 3. There was no way she was going to maneuver out to the car without help. The man cheerfully helped her out to her car. The relief on her face was evident as she pushed one cart with the twins and kept track of the three year old.
After I checked out, I went to the car and unloaded my bags. I was thinking about how my hands really were full! Tiger wasn’t there to help me unload the cart or buckle the baby. Butterfly usually buckles Strawberry, Tiger usually unloads the cart or buckles Little One, and I do the other job. This time I was trying to do it all and we were far from the front of the store because the parking lot was full. After I got everyone and everything loaded, I realized that I had to go quite a way from the car to return the cart. As I was standing by my car analyzing what to do, a woman crossed the parking lot and asked if she could take my cart. She had already returned hers and was on her way back to her car. She had seen me in the store and figured I could use a hand. She then went on to say with a kind smile that she figured I had a lot to manage and my kids were so cute. It sure felt nice to have someone see a need and step up.
Would the fire department have come to free our little friend? Yes. Was it nicer to have her foot free sooner due to the kindness of a stranger? Most definitely.
Would Trader Joe’s have helped the woman with the little kids out to the car? Most definitely. They are so incredible about that. I saw how grateful that woman was to have the help of the man who saw a need.
Could I have taken the cart back myself or sent Butterfly to do it? Yes I could have. But, that smile, kind word, and selfless act of service, which took only 2? minutes really made my day.
Kindness and service don’t need to be big- the small things really do make a difference to those who receive.