A few weeks ago I made a few batches of bread. Some of the loaves I made smaller so we could share with some of our elderly neighbors. I had the kids go out and deliver the loaves once they were baked. A few minutes after the kids got back I got a phone call. It was from one of the neighbors. She was in tears. She had been home soaking a sore foot when the doorbell rang. When she got to the door, there were a couple of my kids with a loaf of bread for her. She said it was the nicest thing anyone has ever done for her! She just couldn't believe that they would come to her house and give her that bread!
The next day the kids were out playing and I watched as she pulled up in front of our house. She got out of her car and gave all the kids hugs and talked to them for a few minutes. Then a few days after that the kids were back out again with some of their friends. She drove up again and gave them all hugs again - even the friends (who had no clue who she was or why she was hugging them)!
This morning we got another phone call from her. It was her birthday yesterday and she wanted to share some of her birthday cake with the kids. She made up a plate of cake and had them come down and get it from her. They made her a card and wrapped her a little gift and went down. Again, she called and thanked me for having such nice kids. She said she has lots of grandkids and great-grandkids but they are not around here and that she loves seeing my kids because they remind her of her own. She especially loved the home made card because it reminded her of the cards her own kids used to make for her when they were small.
Small acts of kindness go a long ways. When I was young, my mom would have us take bread or supper to neighbors. One of those neighbors was named Esther. I lived next door to her from 5th grade through 8th grade. She lived alone and I loved going over to her house and talking to her or helping her do things she needed help with. My mom would have us take her supper a few times a week and we would check in on her quite regularly. When we moved I cried because I knew I would never see her again. It was a friendship that would have never been there had my mom not first sent us over with a plate of food. It helped Esther out, but it did so much more than that. It taught me the importance of serving and it was the source of many happy memories for me.
Simple things can mean so much. We don't have to do huge acts of service. Just simple things can make so much of a difference to some one. For Bev, our new friend down the street, it was just a small loaf of bread. It made her day, but it has also brought joy to my kids. They know her now when she drives by and waves, they give her hugs when she stops by, they are excited to see her. If we could fill our days with simple acts - a hello, holding a door open for someone, a smile, a quick note, a passing wave, a thank you - our days would be so much better! I am grateful for the example that my parents were to me of small, simple acts of kindness. It really does make a difference!