Surprised by Kindness

I left the house to walk to Mass this morning and on the way I realized I had forgotten my hearing aids. Doug was home when I left. I knew he was planning to meet me at the church, so I texted him and asked him to bring my “ears”. He had already left the house, but he immediately surrendered his plan to spend a few minutes in silent adoration so he could fulfill my request. My only response to his cheerful kindness was a whispered “thanks” along with tears.

It’s been nearly five months since our son’s drowning, so I was surprised to find, in the mail, a letter expressing sympathies and condolences. Even more remarkable, it was hand-written and came from a man we haven’t seen in a decade or more.

At first I didn’t pay much attention to the little drawing he’d tucked into the envelope. But something about it caught my attention. As I looked closer, I noticed that our friend was also the artist, his initials are clearly there. It’s colored pencil on paper, a peaceful desert scene, the sun rising just above the horizon.

I want to honor this gift by opening my eyes and heart to take in the strokes of color laid down by the artist’s skilled hands and to relish the sense of peace the scene evokes. I invite you, dear reader, to do the same.

Kindnesses are like rays of light, mostly unnoticed, yet lighting our way with hope and strength. We are truly loved, by the God of all Creation, and in most tender and personal ways by our fellow travelers on this journey. Sometimes we get to glimpse it.

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