Life After Loss: What’s your random act of kindness?

homeless_coupleAs we celebrate Random Acts of Kindness week, here’s a story of my own that touched me.


Brokenness? What is it through the filter of your own life and experiences? Loss of a loved one? Issues at work? Family or relationship issues? Every single person who’s reading this can empathize with what I’m saying. That said, in our lives it’s always the people who’ve experienced the most brokenness who you find are the most caring and selfless.

I know I’ve been through my own journey which has fostered an extreme ability to show grace and love to others. It reminds me of a time not too long ago, while on a business trip to Seattle. I was there with several co-workers of mine, out getting some dinner after a long day at a client.

After dinner, we started walking back towards the cars when I walked past a homeless couple on a bridge. Both sitting Indian style, on a rug they had. A backpack they shared with some extra clothing, a bowl, a bottle of water, and some paintings they had sketched on what looked like an old thrown out sketch pad. The care taken to trim off the frayed edges of the salvaged sheets of paper, making as good a rectangle as they could. The man playing a guitar and singing. Streaks of dirt wiped near the back of their necks and cheeks; obvious they try and keep themselves clean as best they can. Making the most of the life given them with dignity and pride.

I looked at them as we walked by, and nodded. No blatant attempt at soliciting to me. Just an honest smile from her, and a nod from him as he kept playing and singing. But what honestly moved me is how, at the worst point of their lives, she just wrapped her arm around his, smiled, closed her eyes, and rested her head on his shoulder. Just enjoying the melody he was singing. Clearly, both stripped of everything they had, but what mattered was they had each other during this season of their lives.

About 50 yards later, I felt a tapping on my shoulder by the Holy Spirit, and a whisper in my head to go back and help them. I stopped our party, and said to hold on. I walked back, and patiently waited for him to finish his song.

I then said to them both: “You know.. in a world where so much is taken for granted, divorce is at its highest, and we just selfishly destroy everything that’s good in our lives; here you both are. Together, happy, and clearly content to weather whatever challenge God has for you both. Thank you for giving me faith and being an inspiration. God bless you both!”.

With that, I put $100 in that bowl and started to turn and walk away. They both just gasped and started profusely thanking me, asking me if I’d like a painting, or if he can sing a song for me. I just looked at them, smiled, and said “You already gave me a gift that you can’t put a price on. Blessings!”.

What was that gift? To remember and never take for granted the grace a complete stranger showed me when I was broken; never forgetting how something as simple as a smile, at the right moment, can turn someone’s life around forever.



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