I love stories of serendipitous kindness.
Those times when someone calls just when you need to talk, a friend delivers a book that contains the exact words you need to hear, or a stranger delivers a compliment at the precise moment you need it most.
This has happened hundreds of times in my life, but one time stands out from the rest. I was buying a sandwich at a deli when the woman behind the counter looked right at me and said, “You have such beautiful eyes.”
I have always believed the old proverb that says the eyes are the windows to the soul. Well, my soul was hurting that day, and having a stranger make that comment touched me deeply. I started to cry on the spot, which I’m sure made the woman immediately regret the compliment! As I wiped away the tears, I simply said, “Thank you. I really needed to hear that today.”
The magical thing about kindness is that it always hits the mark. We don’t know what’s happening in someone’s life or what they need from us, but God does. It’s stunning to see how He uses us to lift up our fellow human beings.
I received the following email from a woman who was very thankful to be the beneficiary of serendipitous kindness:
“Nicole, I would like to share an act of kindness that happened to me at Walmart.
“It was a particularly hard, depressing day for me, because my family is having issues with our son and his wife. We were informed that we will no longer be able to be a part of our granddaughter’s life. I have taken care of her quite frequently since she was a baby. She is now 3, and to have her cut out of our lives cold turkey was weighing on my heart and soul.
“I went to Walmart on 52nd Avenue in Fargo to pick up a few things. When I was done shoppinand leaving the store, a lady came up to me, handed me a rose and said, ‘This is an act of kindness.’ I thanked her for the flower, and it hit me that I really did need that rose at that time. It sure lifted my spirits when I needed them lifted. I went to my car and began to cry. I had been fighting back the tears from feeling so down, and this woman and the rose made me feel better right away. I hope you recognize who you are if you read the paper. Thank you, Barb”
Thank you for sharing your story, Barb. I hope the woman who gave you the flower knows the timing of her act of kindness was anything but random.
Please continue to share your stories of kindness with me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, send a letter to: Kindness is Contagious c/o Nicole J. Phillips, The Forum, 101 5th St. N., Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107.
Nicole J. Phillips is a former television anchor for Fox News in Fargo. She is an author, speaker and mother of three kids. Nicole is married to Bison Men’s Head Basketball Coach Saul Phillips. Her columns run every Saturday.