The best that we can do.

After a long summer Saturday, my family and I suddenly found ourselves hungry. It was already 8 p.m. and neither John nor I felt like even making so much as a pot of spaghetti. So we did what any good parents would do, we let McDonalds supply the meal for the girls while John and I upgraded to Quiznos. I had two quick errands , and then the plan was to get the food, eat at home, baths for the girls, and then put in a movie we could all fall asleep watching. Loading up the car with the kids and ourselves proved to be a little chaotic, as we were quickly throwing toys and landscaping paraphenalia into the garage because we knew we wouldn’t want to do it when we got home. Finally, the girls were strapped in, I got behind the wheel, and off we went to Walgreens, Beauty Brands, Quiznos and McDonalds. Round trip should have taken 20 minutes tops because I live in an awesome town.

It all went completely as planned until we got to Quiznos, andJohn discovered that he couldn’t find his wallet. Normally I would assume that he forgot it at home, except that he specifically remembered putting it on top of the car when he strapped Super L in, but did not remember picking it up when he got in the car. Great. So, we got our food and retraced our drive through town, eyes peeled for a wallet. I was certain that it was not on the car when I ran into Walgreens, so I was pretty sure we lost it somewhere before then. By the time we retraced the last leg of our trip, it was twilight–street lights were on. I was praying that he set the wallet down inside the garage but I had visions of the rest of my evening being spent talking to someone in some other country trying to get all our credit cards cancelled and waiting all week for replacements.

When we pulled up to the house, Little Miss G commented that Uncle Matt (my brother) was here. I looked up and indeed he was standing on the front porch. Except as he walked toward our car, I realized it was not my brother. A young man, about my brother’s age, but not him… he looked a little rough around the edges if you know what I mean. A little greasy. His clothes weren’t exactly dirty, but they were clearly very old. He had no teeth, but he was young. You guessed it. In his hands was John’s wallet.

He had found it on the road and walked it to our house. He was very friendly and explained how he found it and looked through it to see if he could find a driver’s licence to return it. Everything was in it’s proper place. Of course, John and I kept repeating our thank yous and saying how much we appreaciate it. I asked him to let me give him something for his kindness, which he accepted, but the little bit of cash that was in my wallet wasn’t much. Not nearly enough.

Not only am I thankful for his kindness, I am exceedingly grateful for the wonderful example that he set for my daughters. You just can’t teach that kind of stuff… well, okay, you can, but you can’t teach the genuine kindness that such an act requires and the genuine gratitude of receiving such kindness. All night, this young man was on my mind. I wished I could do more for him. Then I realized, I can do something for him. So for as long as he is on my mind and in my heart, I will pray for this young man. I don’t know one single thing about him except what he looked like and the integrity and kindness he showed us yesterday. But God knows who he is, where he is, and what he most needs. So I’ve been asking God to bless him in whatever way he needs to most be blessed. And you know, it’s a pleasure to pray in this way. We often pray for blessings for people we know and love. We so often pray for people who are in crisis, who are sick, who are hurting, and it’s a pleasure to do that, too. But how fun to ask my Heavenly Father to just bring goodness into the life of a perfect stranger.To bless him with a season of prosperity, or friendship, or good health, or a Snicker’s bar if that’s what makes him happy.

And I know we’ve all heard these kinds of stories, but it actually hits a lot closer when you are a recipient of the do-gooding. Blessings really do sometimes come from the least likely sources.

On a completely different note, I have a new digital camera!!! Thanks to some very good friends, I was able to puchase one that is waaaayyy more fancy than I expected to get, and it is going to give me the opportunity to learn and try something other than point and shoot. So I’ll sign off with my favorite shot that I’ve taken so far. Hope your Monday brings unexpected blessings.

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