How small gestures can have a big impact.
“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” -John Bunya
Several years ago, we were out to eat as a family.
My three boys Henry, Patrick and Jack fought the entire time.
My typically angelic little girl Grace whined the entire time.
And Beth and I worked desperately the entire time to keep the noise from scaring away other diners, drinks from being spilled and food from being thrown.
It was a struggle! And one we lost.
As we finished dinner, I apologized to the sweet waitress and told her the faster she brought me the bill, the faster we’d get out of her hair.
Not surprisingly, she returned quickly with our bill.
And that’s when the surprising thing happened.
She handed it to me, smiled and told me that someone in the restaurant had covered our bill. She said the person remembered the days when their dinners were chaotic and wanted to treat us tonight for making their night.
I stood up and glanced around the restaurant, looking for the person, the family, the kind soul.
No one stood out.
I asked the waitress to please let us know who it was so we could thank them. She refused to, telling me again the person wanted no credit.
We stood up as a family and practically floated out of the place.
Not so much because someone saved me from a dinner bill, but because someone thought enough to think about us, to be generous to us, to empathize with us.
It literally made my night – and the night of my kids.
As I tucked them in that night, told them stories and finally prayed with them, my two oldest chose to pray for the person who bought us dinner.
Kindness has a ripple effect.
The ripple from generosity positively impacts someone else’s life, that is true. But the real gift is that the life most deeply touched is the one who gave.
You have not fully lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.
Friends, there is a lot of pain in this world. And sometimes the feeling of not being able to make a difference in everything often keeps us from doing anything.
But it is in our smallest gestures that the biggest difference can sometimes be seen. Our bill at the restaurant that night amounted to very little, but we’ve never once forgotten the gesture.
This week, look for a chance to do something for someone who can never repay you. Pay attention at the grocery store, at work, in the school pickup line or across your fence and wait for that ripple effect.
You won’t forget it either.
Today is your day. Live Inspired.