Strange Kindness

Quote Card Heb. 13.2

Has God sent a stranger’s kindness to you at just the right time?

God sent me a mysterious person at a critical moment when I was a depressed teen in the fall of 1994. 

I stood on the football field with hundreds of other marching band students.  It was Band Festival Day, when many area schools sent their bands to my hometown for a parade and special field performance.   That evening each school took a turn performing a routine on the football field.   At the end, all bands gathered on the field together for a final performance.

In the chaos of gathering for the mass performance, I stood near the sideline.  People rushed all around me, but in my depression and loneliness, I felt utterly alone and remote.  Crowds often affect me that way.  That night, I was close to despair.

Suddenly a red-headed girl in a royal blue, sparkling leotard squeezed my arm in a friendly hello and said, “Good job, Jackson.”  She rushed by so quickly I couldn’t get a good look at her face, though I noticed her winsome smile.

The rest of the night I searched the field for royal blue-clad band members, but didn’t find anyone fitting her description, no one wearing an outfit anything like hers.  I wondered whether she was real or imagined, but then I remembered the tangible warmth of her touch.  I couldn’t have imagined that.

Maybe she was a real person; maybe she was an angel.  Hebrews 13:2 says sometimes we entertain angels when we assume they are strangers.

I don’t know which, and it doesn’t really matter.  What matters is God used her to encourage me when I felt so cut off.   He sent me her kind words at a critical moment.  He doesn’t want me to feel isolated.  He wants me to feel included in a body of believers.

Now I try to be a stranger with kind words.  This seems easiest when I interact with clerks, waiters and waitresses, and others in the retail or service industries.  I want to be the customer who stands out.  The customer who is willing to listen rather than be served.  The customer with a smile and kind comment.

I want to bless their day as a stranger, just like the redhead did for me so many years ago.  Who knows, my kindness may be the word of encouragement which leads them out of despair. 

May I ask for your feedback on a few related questions?

First, have you ever received words of encouragement from a stranger at just the right time?

Second, do you also dole out words of encouragement to strangers?

Third, what is the best group of strangers to whom you might share words of encouragement in these days when the need is so desperate?

Friends, the need to share words of encouragement is so needed in these chaotic, confusing times.  So many people feel isolated and cut off like I did as a depressed teen.

Let’s band together to speak encouragement to others, even total strangers. 

Blessings to you, Sarah

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Copyright 2016 Sarah Geringer