Then deem it not an idle thing
A pleasant word to speak;
The face you wear, the thought you bring
A heart may heal or break.
- J. G. Whittier
“You wouldn’t run into this if you would just preorder online!” he snapped as he walked away in irritation.
I was speechless. This was not the first time he had been rude.
“How does he keep his job?” I wondered. And I thought, “I definitely will not preorder. I’ll order however I want to order, thank you sir.”
I thought about calling the company he worked for to complain.
Instead…God gave me another idea. He whispered a reminder that I didn’t know his story. “In fact,” I began to wonder, “what is he still doing even working at his age?” And for once I listened to how He wanted me to handle this.
Over the next several months, I smiled at him; I expressed thankfulness and appreciation. I made sure the dogs didn’t bother him (he found my welcoming committee as irritating as me!). I started preordering, which helped his delivery route go quicker.
I started getting smiles back.
Then the smiles kept getting bigger, deep lines emerging in his aging face that had probably experienced a lot of life, and not all of it pleasant.
I started finding amusement in this dear man.
He has been my delivery person for well over a year now, and one of the most reliable ones I’ve had.
The other day after handing over my delivery, he pulled a photo out of his shirt pocket. He had the biggest smile I had seen from him yet.
“This is my new granddaughter,” he beamed proudly. “Is she not the cutest thing ever?!”
We “oohed” and “ahhed” together for some time, and I got to hear all the fun details.
“I’m going to keep her photo in my pocket at all times so I can keep her close to my heart.” He told me with a big grin before he walked off in his quick but stilted gait to make more deliveries.
He just made my day.
“What if I hadn’t listened to God?” I thought as I stood at my door, and we waved to each other before he disappeared into his truck. “What if I hadn’t practiced love and patience like God continuously shows to me?”
I would have missed out on a true blessing. And hopefully he is seeing at least a glint of a reflection of the only true source of love.
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
It’s not our job to play judge and jury, to determine who is worthy of our kindness and who is not. We just need to be kind, unconditionally and without ulterior motive, even—or rather, especially—when we’d prefer not to be.
The best portion of a man’s life, his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love.