Years ago I was the recipient of a random act of kindness which may have proved one of the determining factors of my life’s course. My Aunt Hazel, who was my grandmother’s step sister, gave me a book for Christmas. I don’t remember how old I was, perhaps 7 or 8, but I had started to show a real interest in reading. The book she gave me was a pop up picture book titled “The Littlest Angel”. It was beautifully illustrated and told the story of a seemingly insignificant little angel who was given a most significant role in the Nativity story.
As the middle child, not one of the older ones nor one of the younger, I often felt insignificant, but to be the only one to receive a gift from this aunt made me feel special. Now that I have grown up I realise that she likely saw the book and wanted to buy it for someone and I was the one who fit the age appropriate bill. However at the time I saw great significance in being ‘the chosen one’! I read and reread that book until I had every line memorised. I came to associate with that little angel. I began to feel God had a special purpose for my life!
That single act of kindness had an influence on me that no one, least of all Aunt Hazel could ever have dreamt. My course was set and my path determined. There were lots of twists and turns along the way but so many years later I am grateful for that simple act.
We can never know the full extent of the impact of an act of kindness. They can’t all be as profound as that little book but they can be! I think it would be so cool if years from now someone might pen a story about how a simple act of kindness, in which I was involved, had been used to positively change a life. I never got to tell Aunt Hazel of the impact of her kindness and that is probably the way with most such acts. Our activity each day is like planting seeds. We may never see the resulting growth but it is “God who gives the increase”.
I often get to see the results of seeds sown by others. I know that in God’s economy this is how it works. This is why, at Street Hope, our chief goal is to develop a community of kindness, blessing others in Jesus’ Name.
Several years ago a friend, Jack, gave me another book. It is “The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous” Since then I have been privileged to be a part of hosting many workshops teaching “How It Works” and in a couple of weeks we will be putting on a workshop to train some folks in ministry how to better help these folks who are seeking to become spiritually fit. Jack has since died but I am grateful for his gift and encouragement to be involved in this spiritual movement.