You know today was different. It was great. I think Miss Stacey had something going there when she told Anne, “Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it,” (Lucy Maud Montgmery.) I am pretty sure my day has had a few mistakes in it already, but it is fresh. It started so fresh and just seems to keep flowing with a good theme. Even now, it is a beautiful evening!
I am learning things in my daily readings, though they seem more like puzzle pieces at the time. I cannot see the whole picture yet, but start to get a faint glimpse of something..the bigger picture. I have several devotional books I am going through simultaneously. This morning they all related to each other…they all discussed forgiveness and kindness. They discussed unity. They all mentioned the passage from Ephesians 4:31-32,
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
I start getting ready for the day thinking mostly about kindness. Who can I show extra kindness to today? In my mind I envisioned an opportunity would somehow be presented during the day…an open door to extend kindness. Little did I realize that I would not be giving kindness, but receiving it.
I spent the day in the town of Yellow Springs. It is a great little town. Full of shops that sell mostly handmade items and lots of artwork!!! Different aspiring musicians will play on the street corners and my favorite part is that the public restrooms are located in the old renovated train station. 🙂 The town is adorned in bright colors, funky store names that you remember and at this time of year–loads of spring blossoms (which also means huge bees!)
My goal was going to a pizza parlor to discuss a possibility of displaying my paintings. I had missed my contact, so I just decided to eat there for lunch and read. The man who took my order was very kind. He explained and re-explained things when I could not understand. He showed me to the salad bar and caught my book as I clumsily dropped it while asking more questions out of curiosity about the pizzas and toppings. I found a booth and sat down. I noticed while I was reading/eating that the man who took my order was the only waiter there. He also took the orders up front for carry out and ran the cash register. Then I remembered only seeing one chef too. I had come in right when they opened at 11:30 a.m. By noon, they had a full house. These guys had every reason in the book to be grumpy if they wanted. But instead they were kind and full of energy, resulting in a positive mood throughout the room. I enjoyed my meal and after paying, thanked them on my way out. I don’t think they heard me as the line had piled up behind me at the register.
My friend came to Yellow Springs a bit later. We walked around, going into different shops and enjoying the nice day (windy, but nice!) We stopped in this store that had just about everything. It was almost set up like a half antique store/half Charming Charlie store. The merchandise was organized by colors and themes. Towards the back, we found the craft section. I found a few pieces of fabric for my paintings, so we headed back to the front to pay. I was a few dollars short in cash and there was a $10 minimum for swiping your card. I was just about to say something like, “Let me keep looking.” Or, “Let me look at the candy section.” (They had fudge!) I figured I could just get myself to the $10 limit and then use my card. (Note to self: carry cash next time.) The lady placed my few fabrics and post card in a bag and handed it to me. I took it and started open my mouth to say something about continuing shopping when she said, “It’s ok. Take it and have a great day!” It was genuine. She was not mad I did not have the cash. In fact, she was smiling. I questioned to be sure and she confirmed. All I could say was, “Wow. Thanks so much!” Then proceeded to the door where my friend was waiting outside and I told her about the kindness I had just received.
Aesop said, “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” I experienced this today. When I observed the kind attitudes in the pizza parlor and experienced the gift of kindness in the craft shop, I think that I started to see the bigger picture from my “puzzle pieces” this morning. I should not go around expecting to give kindness. It should flow–it should just be part of me. It should be in my words, deeds, thoughts. I should not be expecting to receive kindness either. When I do receive it, it should be taken in with a heart of gratitude, thankfulness, praise. It leaves me humble.