Has anyone ever done something so genuinely kind for you, that it stopped you in your tracks? Like in that instant, you almost had to pinch yourself to know it was real?
Something like that happened to me last year and every time I tell someone the story, or even recall it myself, the tears roll.
I want to share it with you because it seems like there is a lot of negativity floating about these days.
Sometimes we almost have to literally step over negative remarks, bad news reports, and some people’s meanness as if it were laying on the sidewalk in a pile.
Halloween is kind of a rough holiday for some kids. The costumes and the crowds are just a couple of things that make it a bit unnerving.
A year ago on Halloween we went to our small town’s downtown trick or treating. It was too crowded and didn’t go very well for us.
The next morning, I thought of a way to have a fun day! A new food market had recently opened downtown and had some of Little Bit’s favorite snacks. I looked up their hours on their website, open until 5 p.m.
When I asked him if he wanted to go there, he was beyond excited! A little before 2:00 p.m., we drove to town.
Downtown was pretty quiet, there were no cars driving. I pulled up in front of the market. Dark.
The windows were dark. I’m pretty sure at that moment, my heart fell into a pit in my stomach. It made no sense! The website said 5!
We got out and saw there was a sign in the window. New hours: close at 2 p.m.
With a sinking heart, I had to tell my little bitty kiddo they were closed. Walking back towards our truck, I picked up my crying son, and there we stood on the corner.
All the sudden, the door opened.
A kind soul who had been working that morning saw us and opened the door.
As she invited us in, I wiped Little Bit’s tears. Not only did she treat us like they were open, she took him to the gummy bears and let him sample them. She let us shop and take our time.
She told me she had started that day not wanting to work and couldn’t wait until it was time to close. That changed when she saw us standing on the corner.
It took absolutely everything I had not to burst out bawling in extreme, overwhelming gratitude. I held it together until we were at the counter paying. The moment I tried to thank her, my tears poured out like a faucet that won’t turn off.
The next day I called the market’s owner to tell her about it, all the while I was a crying, blubbering mess. You can’t fake that kind of gratitude. I wanted her to know the kindness of her employee was noticed.
A few days later, I went back and thanked that angel who opened the door that day. When I saw her, the tears started up again. Hers and mine. A life changing, but simple act of opening a door…
We do it every day countless times. In fact, just this morning, I’ve opened doors half a dozen times and didn’t even think twice about it. But, when she did it, we noticed.
I will never be able to repay her for opening that door. I carry that story with me to remind me there IS good in this world, despite all the negativity.
Last week, we went back to the market. It had been like nine months since I’d seen that sweet gal who welcomed us in that day. Right when I saw her, my gratitude tears started rolling again.
I guess the heart doesn’t forget a Kindness Noticed.