Reece Gardner: The benefits of kindness
My daughter, Jessica, and her husband Bob are visiting with me this week, and I am enjoying every minute of it.
Both Bob and Jessica were a vibrant part of my Sunday School class this week. This week Jessica will be appearing on my television show and she’ll also be my guest at Rotary on Thursday. Jessica has always been kind and caring toward others, which prompted me to write about the importance of kindness in all our dealings with others.
My first true-life example is about a grandmother who saw a dress in a consignment store she knew her granddaughter would love. But money was tight, so she asked the store manager if he could hold it for her. Then this happened: A lady stepped forward and asked, "May I buy the dress for you?" The grandmother replied, "Thank you very much but I can't accept such a gracious gift." The lady then explained why it was so important for her to help.
She had been homeless for three years, she said, and had it not been for the kindness of strangers, she would not have been able to survive. "I'm no longer homeless, and my situation has improved," she said. "I promised myself that I would repay this kindness so many had shown me." She then paid for the dress, and the only payment she would accept in return was a heartfelt hug!
Another example: A poor boy was selling door-to-door trying to raise money for his studies. One day he discovered he had only a quarter left, and he was very hungry. While approaching the next house, he decided to ask for a meal. But when a young woman opened the door, he only dared to ask for a glass of water. She looked at and understood that he was probably hungry, so she brought him a large glass of milk. He drank it and then asked how much he owed her.
The woman replied, "You don't owe me anything. My mother taught us never to accept pay for an act of kindness." The boy said, "I thank you from the bottom of my heart." He now felt stronger, not only physically, but his faith in God had grown as well. The boy's name was Howard Kelly.
Many years passed, and one day the woman who gifted the glass of milk became seriously ill. Local doctors could not help, so they sent her to a big city where her rare disease could be treated by a specialist. Dr. Howard Kelly was called in for the consultation.
When he entered her room in the hospital he immediately recognized her as the woman who had shown kindness to him when he was poor. He was determined to do everything within his power to help her recover from her disease. The struggle was long, but together they managed to overcome her illness. After some time the woman received a bill for her treatment.
She was worried that the amount to pay would be so significant that it would take the rest of her life to pay for it. But finally, when she looked at the bill, she noticed that words were written on the side of the bill. Those words were: "Paid in full with a glass of milk!'
Have you ever heard the expression, "Can't see the forest for the trees?" For example, a man decides to join the circus. he shows up to demonstrate his skills to the impresario. "I have the most unusual act," He announces. "I am sure it will amaze you."
He climbs up to the high wire and jumps off! He flaps his arms wildly and eventually his fall slows, and he begins to fly. He soars upward, turns, and swoops back again. Finally, he stops in mid-air and gently lowers himself to the ground! The impresario says, "Is that all you've got? Bird impressions?"
Folks, we sometimes miss the magic for the mundane.
Have a wondrous day!