Random Acts of Kindness Are Not the Whole Picture

A little while back, I wrote about some experiences with generosity.  Since then generosity has been on my mind and I have some more recent experiences to share.  

  1. I made an elderly couple cry. Keep reading!  I’m not the jerk it sounds like I am.  I was in Tim Hortons when I noticed this elderly couple.  He was in a wheelchair and she was using a cane.  She pushed him over to a table and then went over and ordered bagels, donuts and coffees.  All that landed on a tray and I questioned how she was going to manage that with her cane.  I watched her glance back and forth between the table and the counter trying to figure it out. So I asked if I could help her. As I set the tray down on the table the gentleman choked and misted up as he said, “Thank you.”  

The smallest gestures can make a big impact.

  1. My son and I were headed to a record store in Toronto when a lady stopped us and asked if we could buy her lunch. We went into A&W and got her set up. On the way out, a young man on a date stopped me and said, “That was really nice.”

Our generosity affects those participating and those observing.

  1. And just in case you think I always get this right there’s this.  A lady at Starbucks had locked her keys in her car and asked if I had CAA. I hemmed and hawed and stalled as I fumbled around for my CAA card. I had an appointment which wasn’t all that vital but I still didn’t want to be late. While I fumbled, she finally got hold of a family member who came to the rescue.  

Opportunities to serve, be generous or show love are easy to ignore or miss.  

I am becoming more convinced that if we paid attention, God would provide us with all kinds of opportunity to love and serve in His name through generosity both big and small. In fact, I am sure He does provide many opportunities and I just miss them.  But imagine if we all got better at this. How many opportunities for God to act and move could we be a part of? What could God do in us and through us as we followed His lead?

I am also becoming very aware that these small acts are only part of what God wants to do. I need to be better at paying attention and being purposeful with the folks I know.  The people God has placed me around – inside and outside my church.

I can’t let this smaller stuff with strangers convince me that I have this all down and “talk me out of” being the generous person God calls me to be with the folks around me. We are all called to be generous. Random acts of kindness are not the whole picture. God helps us with the whole picture.

Marc McAlister

Director of Church Health, FMCIC