The stranger noticed the woman struggling with a heavy parcel. She was trying to move the package from her shopping cart into the trunk of her car without success.
The stranger asked, “Would you like some help?”
The woman hesitated, probably questioning if it was safe to trust a stranger. In fact, however, she needed the help. The package was simply too heavy.
Finally she said, “Yes, I would love some help.”
The stranger picked up the heavy package and set it in the trunk of the woman’s car. The woman explained that the large package was a 50-pound bag of cat litter she uses on her driveway instead of salt.
The stranger replied, “What a great idea. Thank you for letting me help you. Have a wonderful day.”
The woman drove off with a smile.
The stranger stood in line at the grocery store. The person ahead of him did not have enough money to pay for their groceries and was in the process of taking items away until they had enough money to cover the cost. The stranger saw what was going on and paid for all of the groceries for the person. Tears came to their eyes and they asked if they could give the stranger a hug. The stranger obliged and said, “God bless you.” They responded with the same.
The stranger bought a cup of coffee for another stranger. The stranger washed another person’s car windows. Out of all of this came a continuum — a continuum of what I like to call R.A.C.K., Random Acts of Compassionate Kindness.
Luke 6:38 (NCV) says: “Give, and you will receive. You will be given much. Pressed down, shaken together, and running over, it will spill into your lap. The way you give to others is the way God will give to you.”
Valentine’s Day is the perfect day for Random Acts of Compassionate Kindness. In addition to the celebration of intimate love, there is an opportunity to exercise some brotherly love in a world that desperately needs it. Will you be the kind stranger today?
Bob Furniss is chaplain at Lakeview Hospital and Hospice.