It's amazing what one act of kindness can do.
Just over a year ago, as I was walking home, I noticed this woman ahead of me with some shopping bags. I asked her if I could help her carry them. She felt guilty that I had only left her with one bag to carry. I told her she deserved to be pampered. She said she felt God was answering her prayer through me. I said I'd had a good day and wanted to share my joy with her.
It turned out she didn't live far from me. As we walked to her house, she told me she was a pastor. She asked me whether I was a Christian. I said I didn't follow any religion but believed in God. My friend insisted that I needed Jesus as my way to God, but I begged to differ. All I wanted to do was help a friend not get converted. At her house, I gave her a hug and wished her well. I then recorded our encounter on my blog, as you do.
After that I didn't see my friend again for a long time.
Months later, I noticed my sister-in-law, J, driving in the neighbourhood. When I went home, I asked mum if J had been round and she said no. The next time I saw J, I asked her what she'd been doing in the neighbourhood. She said she has a work colleague who lives in the area who she sometimes picks up on the way to the hospital, where she works as a mid-wife. It turned out her work colleague was the same woman whose shopping bags I had carried. She told J she remembered me.
Fast forward to the present moment.
After my mother's recent operation, she was given some injections, which J has been giving her. Because of some burst water mains in the vicinity that has resulted in huge traffic jams, J couldn't come round to give mum the last injection. So she asked mum if she minded if her colleague, the same woman who lives in the area, comes round to give her the injection. Mum said she didn't mind. I told mum I knew who the woman was.
Early this morning I went to my mother's doctor's surgery to collect her prescription. While I was waiting for it, I noticed this boy in the corner and smiled at him. I asked him if he was OK and he said yes. The next thing I know he was sitting next to me and showing me his computer game. My friend, who is almost 8 years old, was waiting for his mother. He was very excited about his holidays next week to Spain. I was so grateful for my friend for keeping my mind off the chaotic doctor's surgery, which is not my favourite scenery.
When I took my mother's medication home I asked her if J's colleague had been to give her the injection and she said no. She said she wasn't bothered because she was expecting another friend round later who could always administer the injection.
On the way out, I noticed J's friend approaching and speaking on her mobile phone. Apparently she couldn't find our address and was asking someone for directions. I had come out at the right moment. I took her back to the flat and even let her in.
It doesn't take much to share the joy. All it takes is a smile, saying hello, a compliment, carrying someone's shopping, sharing an experience I love or find inspiring... and the benefits last forever.
Related articles: Help is Always Available Directly or Indirectly; Sending Hugs and Kisses; The Gift that Keeps on Giving; No Chance!; You Had Me at "Hello"; Inspiration; Little Acts of Kindness Last Forever; The Ordinary is Extraordinary