You Never Know What Someone is Going Through

When I was a little kid, I spent a lot of time with my Granny. I would spend the night at her house, run errands with her and help her at work. One thing that always struck me was just how kind and thoughtful she was to everyone around her.

Back in those days, our small town grocery store didn’t have the little electronic reader that scanned the bar code on an item. Each individual item had a price sticker on it and the checker would have to manually type the price of each item into the register. When we would go to the store together, she would have me put the items on the little conveyer belt so the price stickers were facing the clerk so it was easier for them to ring us up.

In high school, she worked at a diner as a waitress. Every time we would eat at a restaurant, she would always have us stack our dirty dishes nicely so it was easier for the person clearing the table. And she would always tip well.

She would spend countless hours baking and cooking so she could have food on hand for our family “just in case someone stops by and is hungry.” She taught me how to cook and bake. She didn’t just let me pour stuff in. She would stand back and watch me make a gigantic mess and talk me through how to do it. She never got frustrated when I dropped an egg on the floor or tipped over the entire tin containing 10lbs of flour.

Even to this day, my Granny goes out of her way to show kindness to others.  She drives the “old ladies” in her small town to their doctor appointments (even though my Granny is in her 70s herself), she is the first to refill a drink glass at the dinner table for someone and she is always willing to help someone in need. She serves her community and her family well with little regard to herself. Even when people were rude or short with her, she rarely let it effect how she treated them.

I asked her once a long time ago why she was so kind to others. She said, “You never know what someone is going through. They could be having the worst day and you being nice or helpful might make a huge difference.”

Her answer has always stuck with me. To me, she is the living epidemy of Philippians 2:3
“Don’t act out of selfish ambition or be conceited. Instead, humbly think of others as being better than yourselves.”

My Grandpa and Granny

So many times we are more concerned about how others are effecting us that we rarely consider how we are effecting them. We are focused on ourselves in the here and now. It is all about ME! I get caught up in me all the time…
When I’m in a hurry and the person driving in front of me is going ten under the speed limit…
When my husband says he “just cleaned the kitchen” and I find a sink full of dirty dishes and food smeared down the front of the stove…
When I’m exhausted and my daughter demands I “watch this real quick!” for the 10 millionth time…
When someone is rude and I would like to give them a piece of my mind..
The list could go on and on and on…

But when I catch myself begin full of myself, I often think of my Granny and her reasoning…I never know what those people are going through…
Maybe that person driving too slow is someone’s grandfather or a teen just learning to drive…
Maybe my husband is exhausted from working all day and he didn’t even notice the spill…
Maybe my daughter just needs to know I care enough to pay attention…
Maybe that person is being rude because they have had to deal with rude people all day…
What could my one tiny act of kindness mean to them? How could God reveal Himself to them in that moment? How could it be a seed that is planted that there s a God who created them, loves them and has a purpose for them?

Does there need to be boundaries and accountability? Absolutely! But that is a different topic. I’m talking about the little tiny moments when I look less link Jesus and more like a Karen. Those are the moments that I must choose kindness because you never know what someone is going through and my attitude could make a huge difference in their day!

Put the shoe on the other foot for a second. When was a time you were having just a crap day and one person’s moment of kindness was monumental to you. How did that make you feel? Loved, seen, heard, cared for? God wanted you to feel that and He wants others to feel that too! And who wouldn’t want to be a part of that!

Amanda Turnbull

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