One not-so-random act of kindness

In my mind, I see her laughing eyes, hear her                                somehow-always-breathless voice bubbling over,                             remember how we used to bump into each other on campus…       stop and share helloes and hearts between classes.  How we first became friends in a group of kids who often met to sing and pray… sunlight dancing warm, stained-glass color patterns all around us… all of us sitting informally on the chapel floor, lifting up  each others’ needs.  It was a time set apart…still in school, on the verge of our adult lives. A season for quickening, deep friendships.  Bonds to last a lifetime.

And even though she’d made the decision to leave the university at the end of the year, return to her home state and fiancé, I knew how torn she was to abandon the roommates who’d become like sisters to her –            to watch us moving on without her. She introduced me to two of those dear friends, making way for me to “take her place” – and we (along with another girl) became a new foursome for the following year, hoping and praying to make the list for an apartment on site.  That is, if we managed to be selected from the hundreds upon hundreds camping out at the registrar’s office overnight…

The 24-hour camp-out meant that one of us had to be sitting on that musty stairwell at all times…juggling our classes and work amongst us…and spending long, weary, boring hours – holding fort in line. My turn came in some late afternoon hours of the second day.  Exhausted kids wondrously snored all around me. I was leaning my head back against a hard wall, willing away the hours, trying to concentrate on books, stiff and uncomfortable… and a bit lonely.

“Hey, Pam!” a voice called, and when I followed it, there she was – stepping over the bodies everywhere, then dangling an enticing little bakery bag in front of me.  House of Pies, the label read.  Too small for pie, but certainly something scrumptious. She plopped down beside me, looking fresh and windblown, pretty aqua sweater tied around her shoulders …

“I thought you might like some company… and a treat,” she said, offering me a couple of fresh-baked, over-sized sugar cookies.  Favorites of my soon-to-be roomies-so-she-knew-I’d-love-’em-too, she explained. She’d just thought of it and trekked a couple blocks off campus to get them.  She informed me then that she also planned to take “her turn” spotting for us on the stairwell after I left.  Because even if she wasn’t going to be there next year, she was a part of us…  Hey, I even brought you guys together, her genuine smile seemed to say.

I doubt she remembers this moment in time, now.   Living letters rarely do.

But on that day, her simple thoughtfulness echoed in my heart like the sweet chapel bells on the bluff. And I clearly remember thinking over the lump in my throat… She makes me want to be more thoughtful too.

And so I purposed in my heart – right then – to begin looking for those moments. Sometimes it’s cookies.  Or a few uplifting words.  Always it’s putting yourself in another’s shoes.   Cookies… kindness… encouragement.   Gifts that stay… written on the heart.

Thanks, Sharon. 
Christmas Cookies clipart

© Pam Depoyan

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I’m linking up with Kristen Strong at Chasing Blue Skies…join us?

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About Pam@Writing...Apples of Gold

I love to hear your thoughts, even chat back and forth amongst comments.Won't you join the conversation? :) ..................................................................................................................... May my stories refresh you, like a whisper from our Father's Heart !
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12 Responses to One not-so-random act of kindness

  1. Diane says:

    I got up this morning and tthere was an email – Writing…Apples of Gold had a new post. I smiled. I knew it was going to be something that would warm my heart and kick-start myy day. Thank You, LORD, for Pam – her heart and her writing is so special. II lovve the line: “her simple thoughtfulness echoed in my heart like the sweet chapel bells on the bluf” – how poetic! May your day, Pam, be off to such a great start!

  2. Pam@Writing...Apples of Gold says:

    Thanks, Diane! Your words warm my heart too – both in your comments here and on your blog! When I read your thoughts, C’s thoughts and others, I can’t help but think how beautiful it is that God paints His encouragement through us all in such varied styles – the same Heart expressed in uniqueness – the way every flower has it’s own beauty. You help me believe He is in my writing too… 🙂

  3. Sylvia R says:

    I have been reading a lot of “random acts of kindness” in a lot of places lately, and it gives me a similar reaction: I think I could be doing so many more. It’s a matter of awareness, not being bound and distracted by the over-busyness! Thanks for this share!

  4. Hazel Moon says:

    Thank you for sharing your sweet story at “Tell Me a Story.” Your friend still was part of your “group” even though she was just visiting. How precious to bring you a treat and to volunteer to sit in while your were waiting for an apartment.!

  5. Pam-
    Your title “Random Acts of Kindness” took me back~~~way back to a long ago moment in time in which I was very un-willing to accept Kindness, but God has such an amazing way of opening our hearts.

    We live within two miles of our local public school and the rules at the time were that if you fell within this category, your child could not ride the bus. Our son started Kindergarten and being the stubborn woman that I am, I had a friend build a “buggy” of sorts that attached to my bicycle and each day, rain or shine, My son and I made the trip to school. As a result of the weather, he missed over 30 days of school, getting sick from being out in bad weather. Yes-Martha was one stubborn woman and people all around me were begging to help us out and give us a ride. My husband was on the school board and I felt it might “look bad” if I accepted any form of help. So on we rode~~suddenly one day I felt a firm tap on my shoulder and turned around to see another lady who volunteered each day at the school. My nerves tightened as it seemed I could feel what was coming~~~ She looked at me and said “Martha-I will be stopping by your house each morning and taking your son to school. I will bring him home each afternoon. You need some help dear girl~~so do not say NO.”

    I could not speak-tears were ready to flow, so I did a pitiful shake of my head, in a YES move to let her know~~I would be accepting her random act of kindness. Now-over 25 years later, I am hopefully going to have a chance to interview her for a Oral History Project for our library. It will be a special moment for me to give her a heart-felt Thank You!

    We never know just how huge an impact we can have on another person’s life by a random act of kindness. Mine was changed in a split second that long ago day and it stays with me. Thank you for writing this Pam~~~it brought a wonderful memory back.

    Blessings. Martha

    • Thank you for sharing your story, Martha… yes, we can sometimes make our lives so much harder by not accepting or seeing the kindness and strength God is sending through others. Sounds like this woman was a real blessing to you… and now you may be a blessing to interview her too. I love that God opens our hearts to be a blessing to each other in ways we may not even imagine. And how He opens our hearts. I’m glad this story reminded you of a wonderful memory… 🙂

  6. Beth says:

    A beautiful story! “She makes me want to be more thoughtful too.” I have a feeling someone is saying the same thing about you. 🙂 I’m thankful for the opportunity to read. Stopping by through Kristen’s link-up.

  7. kristenchasingblueskies says:

    I love this, Pam! What a beautiful reminder that “written on the heart” gifts may be small in size but remain big on love. May I strive to be as others-centered as your sweet friend…and *you*.

    Have a wonderful week, Pam!

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