The other morning I had a breakfast meeting at Tim’s Place. As I left the restaurant my arms were full of bags and binders. I literally threw everything on the front seat of my car and headed for the office. As I was driving I noticed my purse wasn’t in the pile, so I went back to see if I had left it at our table. The moment I heard the waitress say she had not seen it – my heart went into early stage panic mode. My phone – my checkbook – my credit cards – gone. Ugh.
I walked back to my car with one last hope of discovering my bag between the passenger seat and door, but as I looked and looked again – it was nowhere to be found. Shoulders slumped and looking toward the heavens, I heard a man’s voice say “I don’t speak English.” He was a landscape worker, walking with a blower, cleaning leaves out of the parking lot. His eyes were smiling at me as he said “Lose?” It took a few seconds to register. “YES” I shouted – “LOSE!”
I followed him to his truck, and as he opened the door – there was my bag. By then, another worker had made his way to where we were and explained that they had decided to hold onto the bag while they were there working to see if anyone came looking. I can’t tell you how thankful I was as I tried to give them a cash reward, buy them breakfast, do something to show my gratitude. Their answer to every offer was no. They were simply happy to have a part in reuniting bag and owner.
I am sharing this story because rarely today do we read about honest people who do acts of kindness and expect nothing in return.
Those men reminded me that with so much man’s inhumanity to man there are still things going on each day that speak well of us. The gratitude I felt in my heart has not lessened. Now, we may not all find a bag in a parking lot, but especially at this time of the year – there are a lot of people in dire need of an act of kindness. A plate of cookies, a cup of coffee, a coat to the homeless, paying a stranger’s bill – make your own list. But most importantly – give someone the joy of gratitude. It will last longer than you think and create more hope than you can imagine.