Refill with Randy – a little kindness can go a long way
Good afternoon! Grab your favorite cup. Fill it up.
Today I want to talk about how a little kindness can go a long way. You have probably heard the saying, “Be kind because everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle”, well I have found time and time again that there is a lot of truth in that—especially in the world that we live in today.
I know that sometimes it can be frustrating if you are waiting in a long line at the store or if there aren’t any bags at checkout but, rather than getting upset at the closest person on staff who is probably making minimum wage and has no control over the situation, I would suggest that you pause, offer the person a smile instead of a scowl, and maybe even say something to them like, “No bags again, huh? That’s got to be tough because it’s not your fault but you probably still take the heat for it.” Or maybe after a long wait in line, where you have heard other customers berating the cashier, when it gets to be your turn you might say, “It sounds like you are having a tough time. I really hope the rest of your shift goes better.” And, if you say it loud enough, maybe it will help set the tone for the others waiting in line behind you.
My friends and I actually had the opportunity to show kindness in this way not too long ago while having breakfast at a local restaurant. After arriving we were seated and had our orders taken shortly after. We then jumped into some good conversation, my two friends discussed world problems while one of their sons and I discussed more important matters like which new Lego sets were coming out, but after quite a long time had passed a lady who was not our waitress came to our table and said, “I’m very sorry but your order was lost.” She explained that she had noticed that some people who had come in after us were already finished and paying their bill so she went to find out about our order only to discover that it was missing. She wrote down what we had originally ordered, said she would put it right in, and thanked us for our patience and understanding.
It wasn’t really a big deal. We weren’t starving, our coffee cups were frequently filled, and we saw it as simply an opportunity to enjoy more time to fellowship together. A little while later we received our food, which was absolutely worth the wait by the way, and then the lady who had taken our original order came up to our table. She started to apologize saying that she was actually the owner of the restaurant and that she had taken our order because the waitress who was supposed to be there for the morning shift hadn’t shown up. She went on to explain that on her way back to the kitchen she had answered the phone since she saw that the call was coming from the hospital where her husband had recently been admitted. Then, after hearing some not so great news, she had walked away and forgotten all about our order.
We assured her that it wasn’t a problem and that we were not upset. We also asked what her husband’s name was so that we could pause and pray for him right then. After we finished our meal and went to leave she cashed us out and proceeded to give each of us hugs stating that we were the perfect table for that to happen to.
Now you might not think that we would enjoy being labeled as the perfect table to have our ticket lost but it was obviously a compliment, not only because of how we responded but also because of how we didn’t respond. Think about it… we could have been angry, we could have demanded that we get our food for free, we could have not left a tip, we could have got up and left, or we could have passive aggressively posted a bad review on social media. There are a number of ways that we could have reacted poorly in the moment, and I wish I could tell you that I have never been guilty of any of these things in the past, but any negative reaction would not have allowed us to offer comfort and kindness to someone who was obviously in need of both. Beyond that, how bad would we have felt after finding out the reason behind our order being lost?
I know that we all have times when we get busy and ate not as kind or as patient as we would normally be but it is in those moments that we have the opportunity to positively affect someone’s day by purposely slowing down, trying to picture the situation from the other person’s point of view, and then treating them the way that we would want to be treated. Go on and give it a try because, as Aesop the famous fable writer once observed, “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”
See you in two weeks!
Pastor Randy LeBaron