Got the Spirit?
Is Your Church Beautiful?

I Don't Want To Be Surprised By Kindness



photo credit: Jake Thacker (


I went into the post office the other day with a few oversized envelopes. No boxes, and no need to buy a package and fill out the address. There wasn’t a line, but the lady in front of me did have an oversized box.

"She's probably sending it to some remote location in China," I thought. "Watch her take forever."

Suddenly, the lady turned to me and said, "You go ahead of me. I don’t mind."

I don’t want to be surprised by kindness.


My daughter goes to open swim one night each week for private swim lessons. She’s taken group lessons a few times, but it hasn’t clicked like we hoped it might. She needs a little extra help. There’s a lady who shares the swim lane with her. She has a floating device and slowly treads her way up and down the length of the pool. I always anxiously watch to make sure my daughter doesn’t splash this woman in the face, or ram her when she’s attempting her awkward-at-best back float. Last night the lady overheard me tell our daughter to watch out for this lady before she jumped off the side of the pool. The lady smiled (with her mouth and her eyes). “

"Oh, she’s alright," she said.

I don’t want to be surprised by kindness.


For some reason, I seem to lose pens by the bucketful. I’ll throw four or five in every purse I own, and come Bible study time, I often find myself without one. It’s unexplainable. I borrowed one from a friend one Wednesday a few months back. It wrote so smoothly, and I commented on the cute pencil bag she had for a carrier. The following Sunday, my friend came up to me all excited. She’d gotten me a pencil bag like hers, and put three of her favorite kinds of pens inside. Now, I carry this bag with my Bible study things, so I’ll never find myself without a pen.


I don’t want to be surprised by kindness.


My neighbor lost one of her legs to cancer years ago, and she's recently had some health issues. From time to time, I take her out to run errands. We load up her wheelchair and drive to a couple stores. I'm new to helping a person in a wheelchair, and she's gracious enough to laugh at my clumsy attempts. Often times, I'll forget she has her hands full with our bags, and I'll walk right through the doors to hold them open, forgetting she can't wheel herself through with her hands full. The best moments (and the ones that help me maintain a little dignity) are when someone notices us coming or going, and they stop what they're doing to hold the door open for us. Then I (usually) remember to wheel my friend through the open door.


I don't want to be surprised by kindness.


My daughter has a lot of stories to share after school each day. Around Mother’s Day, the students’ assignment was to make a Mother’s Day card for their moms. One little boy in her class has had family struggles lately. I don’t know the details, but the classmates know he’s went through some trials this school year. Upon receiving the assignment, he started crying. He couldn’t make a card for his mom. The teacher assured him a grandma or friend card would be wonderful. The class gave him some hugs, and told him they knew his card would turn out great.


I don’t want to be surprised by kindness.


Every time I fly, I'm reminded in the airport. By and large, people are kind. Helping with luggage, tolerating stir-crazy children, giving up places in line, using their manners. What concerns me is the fact that I’m more and more surprised by these everyday acts of kindness. I want to live in a world where we expect them. Where it’s a much bigger surprise when we’re met with people who are rude and inconsiderate. 


I don't want to be surprised by kindness.


comments powered by Disqus