The Kindess of Others
Blessings Part 3
Recently, I was at the grocery store, with my 2 year old in the main part of the cart, and our one year old in the front of the cart. I was trying to fit groceries around my toddler, and feed my baby, and choose some avocados and it was utter chaos. Ollie, the 2 year old, was angry I would not let him eat raspberries in the cart (a fight I eventually gave up on and he ate the ENTIRE container before I got to the register) and Emilio, the 1 year old, was squirming to get out of the front of the cart, and succeeding. (I had the belt fastened, that just does not seem to stop my Houdini of a child).
I was trying to remain calm, but between needing to get everything on my list, and cursing the store for not having larger carts, I was struggling. It was pretty obvious, because a woman, much older than me came up to us and started chatting sweetly with the boys. She was fascinated with our babies curls, and Oliver's raspberry stained cheeks, and she offered sweet words of encouragement. She distracted them long enough for me to get the rest of my groceries. She showed me a great kindness.
Have you every been struggling through the grocery store, and can feel the judgmental eyes of others boring into your soul?? No? Just me? Well, letting go of what others think of me, ESPECIALLY as a mom, is something that I am working on. It is a slow process, but it still is a relief when someone offers me kindness like the woman at the grocery store. She was so understanding, and even lamented missing the toddler years. I was so thankful for her, and she even took my cart for me after I had unloaded my groceries so that I could strap the kids into their car seats.
The kindness of strangers always catches me off guard, because I think we can live in our own little bubble and not even notice the people around us. I think I am only more aware of others now that we have children. That stranger could have joined in with others in that grocery store who were probably annoyed at the screaming and negotiating happening from our cart. Yet, she chose to ENGAGE and extend kindness to us.
Just a couple weeks ago at Mass, we moved to our regular pew in the church, and a woman who usually sits near us in that same pew took her place next to us. She is older, and I do not know her name, but she is always kind to our NOISY boys, and even lets them play with her rosary. She pulled something out of her purse, and handed it to Oliver. She had bought him little finger puppets to play with during mass because she felt that he was, ”Such a good boy!”
I was astounded by her kindness. She was out shopping, and found these little puppets and thought of OUR SON. Then had the love in her heart to purchase this little gift for him. WOW. What a kindness!! He was REALLY good that week at Mass.
Those people out there who think of others and offer kindness are real blessings, not only to me, but to everyone that they extend kindness to. I am sure that both of these wonderful people are kind to strangers all the time. It made me think about how I approach kindness. Do I extend it freely to everyone? Am I willing to smile at a stranger, or give an encouraging word to someone who is clearly struggling? How am I blessing others?
These are some questions that I encourage you to ask yourself too! What can we all do to show others the kindness and goodness of Christ? I challenge you to try to extend kindness to a stranger, or to someone who sits near you at Mass, or your neighbor! Let's pray for God to reveal to us who needs to be blessed by our kindness today. ,