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A Stranger’s Kindness


Today started out as a very ho-hum day. I woke up exhausted and longed to cover my head and stay in the cozy, comfort of my bed. Unfortunately, that was not to be, because I had a scheduled appointment and I needed to get up, take a bath and pick up my daughter, in that order. I was determined that, for once, I’d arrive early. (Boy, was she surprised!) Anyway, we reached our destination (early, I might add), and walked into the office to the very perplexed faces of the office staff. I said that I was there for my appointment and after looking at one another, they informed me that they’d left a message last week that the doctor would be out of the office. I didn’t get the message, and I was perturbed, not at them, because I have no doubts that they left a message, but at the thought of the cozy bed that I’d left for no reason.

Anyway, I came home, still annoyed at the wasted trip. As I arrived home, I stopped at the end of our driveway by the mailbox to pick up the mail. When I got inside, I leafed through it and finding nothing of interest, tossed it on the table. In my haste to get out of the house, I had to forego breakfast, so, I was ravenous. I hurriedly ate lunch. Since I promised a friend to look into a legal issue for her, I headed off to do some legal research. I slogged through 65 pages of a Texas statute until my head was almost touching the keyboard from exhaustion and boredom, so I decided to take a break. Thirsty, I went to the dining room table where I left my drink to find mail for me — a post card. Apparently, I’d overlooked it earlier as I rifled through the mail.

I knew immediately that it was a New York post card based on the prominently displayed Statute of Liberty and the initials “NYC.” Now, I love to receive the surprise card or letter in the mail, but as I racked my brain to identify the card’s sender, I came up empty. I turned the card over and I instinctively looked for a signature. To my surprise, I didn’t recognize the name — not at all. I checked the address, thinking that it was meant for someone else, but there was my name and address written clearly and decisively.

At the top of the card was the word “HOME,” and below it a magical, whimsical list of what the word means to the sender. My favorite is “a moment and place in which you realize your world is perfect, however fleeting that perfection is, and clarity becomes a reality.” While reading the post card, my ho-hum day became anything but. The simple post card and the obvious thought behind it, warmed my heart, put a smile on my face and made me feel extra-special, all at the same time.

Today, it took the kindness of a stranger to remind me of life and its promise of serendipity and surprise. I mean, when things happen for reasons that you can’t explain, they serve to punctuate the potential for mystery and wonder in each precious moment. The post card also goes to show that an act of kindness need not be a significant thing to make a big difference in someone’s day or life. I feel blessed that by happenstance, a post card sent by a kind stranger, made my day a memorable one. Because of her actions, I am also reminded to pay it forward, to make a difference in someone else’s day. It is the very least that I can do.

Blessings and grace, Lydia

All Will Be Well, ~ Julian of Norwich

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