I got to go out to dinner tonight with a dear friend of mine.
When it was time to get our bill, the waitress came up and told us, "The older couple who was sitting across from you has already paid your bill for you, so you're good to go."
And my friend and I just looked at each other. "Really?" we both asked incredulously.
"Yeah," said the waitress, "Do you know them?"
I have never had something like that happen to me before in my life.
It is such a small thing, really. It wasn't like we were at a four star restaurant and our bill was $80. But still. A random couple decided to pay for us.
I have no idea why they would choose to do such a kind thing to us.
Maybe it was because they saw us pray before the meal and, as my friend suggested, it inspired them to do the KTIS Friday challenge - which is apparently where KTIS (a local radio station) challenges its listeners to pay for a strangers bill when they are out to eat or to pay the bill for the person behind them in the drive-thru at a fast food or coffee joint.
Or maybe I was talking way too loudly about some of the trials that are facing me right now, and they felt bad for the obviously pregnant woman who is clearly down on her luck recently.
Or maybe it was for a completely unrelated reason.
But the reason doesn't really matter.
All that matters is that their small act of kindness seriously made my day.
It might sound silly, but I've been feeling like a zombie a lot recently - both from lack of sleep and from general emotional and physical weariness.
But their kindness made me feel like a human being again for once.
And it reminded me that there are kind people out there who are willing to help someone out when they can - even someone they've never met before.
I wish we could've thanked them, but they had already left by the time we found out they paid for our meal. They probably wanted it that way. They probably wanted to remain anonymous. But I sure wish I could hug them and tell them how much their kindness meant to me.
It may seem like I'm taking it way overboard, but I can hardly keep from tearing up as I write this. They made me feel loved, and important, and special, and human again for the first time in quite a while. And I think it made such an impact on me because of the very fact that they were - that they are - complete strangers. Yes, of course, my friends make me feel human and make me feel loved all the time. But sometimes their love and kindness doesn't always get through to my heart because of all of the other difficulties that are going on around me right now. It's easy to not let that love and kindness sink in because they're my friends, so of course they love me and are kind to me!
But when someone I don't even know chooses to go out of their way to show me kindness and love, to make me feel like a human being - well, that's something very, very special. And it is impossible for that not to touch my heart.
It's so easy for us to get caught up in our busy lives, Baby. You won't really understand that for several years, because when you're young, all that matters is your toys and friends and having time to play and explore the world. It's all so wonderful when you're young. But as you get older, you, just like all of the rest of us, will get caught up in the busyness of the world - doing homework, being involved in extracurriculars like sports and playing instruments, spending time with friends, doing chores around the house. And that's normal. It's normal to get caught up in the busyness.
But I hope that in those times, you will not forget that it doesn't take much to make someone else's day a little brighter. It can be as simple as a smile. It can be as easy as helping someone pick up some papers that they dropped. It can be as basic as giving a compliment to someone. It can be as rudimentary as paying for someone else's bill at a drive-thru or restaurant. I hope that I don't forget that either.
Because as basic as these little acts of kindness can be for you, they can be life-altering for the person you do them for.
To the couple who paid for our dinner this evening: Thank you. You have absolutely no idea how much that act of kindness meant to me. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
I love you, sweet Boy,