It was just a piece of white paper. Yellow flowers. Swirly words. But it was priceless. One small act of kindness. One big impact.
It’s been almost thirteen years since I received that “cheery little card.” Emotionally I was depleted that day. I felt very alone. Yes, I was married, but my husband was working a ton. We were living in a new town away from family and friends. One main lifeline where we had put so much energy and effort into building relationships for the prior year and a half had been severed. Reconciliation efforts hadn’t gone well. To add to my misery, I unexpectedly had to have knee surgery. For six weeks I was unable to put any weight on my one leg. Simply taking a glass of water from one room to another was no longer possible.
I felt so alone. I hurt so deeply inside. It felt like no one cared.
Then, the mail came.
Totally unexpected, this happy card from my aunt in another state was there in my hands. Her handwritten words simply said, “Hope your recovery is speedy and not too painful!”
That was it. But, it was all it took. I had concrete evidence that someone cared and that realization encouraged me greatly. Granted, I wasn’t focused on God like I should have been. But, thankfully He was merciful to me and used my aunt to strengthen me when I was very down.
That card changed my life. It was a very small act of kindness that cost my aunt probably $5 or less and very little time. But, it was priceless to me. It not only changed my perspective, but it has also inspired me to send many cards of my own to many different people in the years since I received that one card. I’m training my four kids to think of others as well by having them make birthday cards for many of the people in our church. Often, the recipients genuinely thank my kids and tell me what a blessing the card was to them. My aunt had no idea the impact her card would have on me. She passed away over seven years ago. I don’t even know if I ever thanked her for her card; although I saw her much in childhood, adulthood had significantly separated us. However, the fruit from her kindness sown in me has exponentially multiplied.
Now as I frequently send out my own cards, I’m often tempted to think they are insignificant. Of no real value. What could they possibly do to encourage someone? And, then I remember the card from my aunt. Small but priceless. Inexpensive but so valuable. So, as I walk to the mailbox with just a piece of paper in my hand, I pray the card will be a blessing and encouragement to the recipient. And, then I close the mailbox, put up the flag, and let the card go accomplish the purposes God has planned for it.
Never underestimate the power of one small act of kindness.