Sunday, November 15, 2015

"You must have been brought up right!"

Every Monday I stop at the Starbucks on the corner of 56th and Emerson. Although I don't drink coffee, I like tea. Peach Tranquility is my current favorite.

Monday, November 2, was more like Monday, July 2, with temperatures near 80 degrees, a bright, shiny sun and slight breeze added to the mix of unusual weather. When I got out of my car I noticed a short, elderly woman, holding a cane in one hand, a Starbucks cup in the other. In between hands, smashed like an accordion, were a newspaper, a tablet of paper and numerous other papers.

Seeing her struggle to open her car door, I hurried across the parking lot to offer assistance. Relief spread across her face when she saw me.

"You see I had company for two weeks. I don't know if I can recover!"

"That's a lot of cooking and cleaning. You must be exhausted." I could see the lines of stress and fatigue all over her face. "I hope you can go home and rest," helping unload her arms and settle in the driver's seat.

"You must have been brought up right. Thank you for your help," she said, slipping into her car with the same relief noted when a person finally lays his or her head on a pillow, exhausted from a long day, ready to sleep!

Walking into Starbucks to place my order, I wondered how the woman assumed because I was helpful I had been "brought up well." Does responding with kindness necessarily reflect one's upbringing? I don't think so - not in my case, for sure.

I am thankful my act of kindness blessed a stranger, but thinking that I was "brought up well" was not the origin of my generosity. Reflecting the love of Jesus, following the model he presented for interaction with others grounded my actions.

That day I was able to live the first of three suggestions I offered last week to bring holiness to the holiday season - bless another.

Prayer: Thank you, God, for keeping my eyes open and heart ready to respond in service to those I meet along the path I walk each day. Amen.

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