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Wordfull Wednesday: Random Act of Kindness

February 9, 2011

Cocoa is hosting Wordfull Wednesday again this week at Chocolate on My Cranium.  The topic is “Share a random act of kindness someone showed to you that helped you in turn to be aware of others and spread the kindness.”

As I have pondered this topic for the past week, two instances stand out in my memory.

One was when I brought my firstborn son home from the hospital.  My friend was over compassionate service in our ward and let me know that she had arranged for dinner to be brought in to us by ward members for the first three or four days we were home.  I was grateful for that, but I was absolutely floored by all the other food people brought in.  Nearly every day I would get a phone call from someone new inquiring how we were doing, how the baby was, and asking if they could bring dinner to us some night that week.  I think we were fed, and fed well, for at least three weeks.  It wasn’t the abundance of food that impressed me most, but the individual examples of Christlike service given freely.

The second instance was Christmas Eve 2002, three days after my little brother Ryan passed away.  We were at home, trying to finish some Christmas preparations while coping with grief when there was a knock on our door.  There stood my uncle with a framed photo (one that I had never seen before) he had taken of my little brother and he said that he just wanted to come by, give me a hug, and let me know that he was thinking of me.  This was in stark contrast to a family Christmas party (the night before, I think?) where no one even mentioned Ryan or what we had just gone through as a family.  Perhaps condolences were offered to my parents, but no one seemed to know what to say to me, so they said nothing.

I suppose I can’t really call these “random” acts of kindness.  Both were done for me specifically and they helped me to see that we don’t need to be called upon by the compassionate service leader to give service to someone in need.  If we see a need or feel impressed to help someone, we can and should just step in and give of ourselves freely.  I can’t say I’m the best at this (as my friends who have given birth recently can probably attest) but I try to keep the example of that ward fresh in my memory.

I’ve also learned that if someone is hurting, we should always say something, even if it’s as simple as, “I don’t know what to say, but know that I’m thinking of you.”  That can be so very comforting and healing.  Again, I’m not the best at this, it is just so easy to get wrapped up in my own little world with its worries and cares.  But I’m striving to be more aware of those around me and their needs, so I can give what service I can, however small and simple.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 10, 2011 8:26 am

    I have hard time knowing what to say in certain situations. But I am learning (as a bishop’s wife) that it really doesn’t matter as long as we are there showing our support and admitting we don’t know what to say but want them to know we are thinking of them.

  2. February 10, 2011 10:27 am

    What a difference it makes just to know someone cares. Once during a hard time I ran into a friend in the grocery store. She just simply came up and gave me a hug and then moved on, and that was enough.

  3. February 10, 2011 11:26 am

    Having lost my mother and my brother I still find it hard to know what to do or say. Like Esther said above sometimes just a hug is enough.

    I feel like I am so engrossed in my current life that I do not get to offer the amount of service that I’d like to do. After reading through all the posts yesterday I felt like I could go and serve the world! But then reality hit me when the phone rang and a showing was scheduled for tomorrow. I have to put all of me into getting our house sold and taking care of my family leaving little time for other things. This too shall pass . . .

    The ward you were a part of when your first son was born – sounds like the ward we were in when our first daughter was born. We got meals for two straight weeks. I have never had that again . . . nor do I expect that. It was Mountain View 3rd ward in the Sugarhouse area of Salt Lake. Good, good people there!!!

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