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How a Random Act of Kindness Affected Me

"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."
~~ 1 Corinthians 13:13, NIV

We have received some great RAOK ideas and we hope people will visit and utilise our list to go out into their communities and make a difference in John's honor.  Now for February, we thought it would be nice for you to share your stories of how a Random Act of Kindness affected you.  Were you on the receiving end of somebody "Paying it Forward"?  It would be great to share your stories which may in turn inspire others to go out and carry out their own RAOKs.


From Cindy:

One of the people I contacted on 'Lynn's Day' was a teacher I worked with who has since retired.  I remember this 'Share the love' moment which involved her, several other teachers and my parapro:  It was 2008 and Easter Sunday.  It was also my birthday, the only time in my lifetime that the two dates would be the same.  A wonderful man I had been dating had died a little more than a week before.  I was trying my hardest to find joy that particular Sunday as we celebrated at church and at home with a family get together.  I was playing in the yard with my nieces and nephew when I fell...and broke my wrist.  What followed that week was pain, surgery, and more pain.  Then there was work.  That was awkward, but I managed.  One day at work, I noticed my parapro was particularly preoccupied, and with some of the other teachers on the hall.  After school that day she was 'summoned' by a fellow teacher to help solve an 'issue' in her room.  About 20 minutes later...I was also 'summoned'.  When I walked into the room I was greeted with "SURPRISE!"  they had put together a surprise birthday party for me.  It included cake, ice cream, punch, and presents.  They told me that no one deserved a "Do Over Birthday" more than me.  I don't know for sure who came up with the idea and planned it...but I have a feeling it was the teacher I contacted this past week and my parapro as they were the only ones who knew EVERYTHING that was going on with me. That is the nice thing about the people I work with.  We are not in each other's business, but we are there for each other when we need to be.


From Jenni:

I would just like to share a few words of appreciation for the kindness and compassion shown by the nurses, doctors, and chaplains while my grandma was in the hospital dying. Their care for her was obvious but only a part of why I wanted to honor them with a few words.  They truly saw to our needs as a grieving family whether they checked in to see if we needed coffee... assuring us that they were there for us as much as for her..., prayed with us, shared inspiring stories with us, showed interest in our emotional and spiritual well-being, patiently answered questions, or simply offered a hug or a hand to hold onto.  

I believe in angels of the type John portrayed on Touched every week... heavenly beings sent by God to tell us He loves us.  But I also believe that as humans we can be angels to each other.  The folks at the hospital certainly were that.  I am grateful for the angels I met this week. 


From Jenni:

Since the site launched, I've been making little angels out of embroidery thread and leaving them around with a card directing people to the site.  A few days ago, my mom asked for some to give out to people as she felt the need.  I was really touched because it's always great to know my parents support something that's important to me.  Plus, this way more people receive angels and find out about PIF through them than would if it were just me doling them out around town!


From Cindy:

The random acts of kindness that have meant the most to me have been when people would acknowledge my efforts or even my pain. 

There was the time as young teachers my best friend and I helped plan and carry out an elementary school Valentine 'Dance' (we only went up to 4th grade).  We received a LOT of flack for it as a local D.J. of a 'Christian' radio station campaigned against it. It was a HUGE success despite all the opposition. The phone calls, notes, and accolades we received afterward for such a great event just blew us away. 

A group of 4th grade students who got together and ordered a rose for me on my birthday-right after I broke up with my fiance. 

Another floral arrangement that was delivered anonymously to my office the week after my boyfriend died-that was also the same week I broke my wrist and had to have surgery. To this day I do not know who sent that arrangement or why they sent it as many people did not know about my boyfriend and even less knew I broke my wrist the day before. I was not even at work when the arrangement arrived.

Messages, letters and notes from people telling me how I brightened their day or how a suggestion I made was important to a project they did. A card with a real note or letter inside, not just a signature. A phone call just to see how I'm doing. A compliment. Letters and notes from former students or their parents thanking me for being their teacher.

Overhearing someone in a group begin discussing ways to pay it forward. And when someone comes across an act of random kindness or a pay it forward project, and they pass the story on to me saying, "I found out about this, and I thought of you." 


When we were little I had seizures and my brother was a baby at the time his crib was near the light switch he noticed that I wasn't feeling well and turned the light in our bedroom on to tell our mother that she had better pay attention that I was very sick and the situation was very serious at first our mother didn't want to believe it but soon afterwards she knew that he was telling her the truth. I consider my brother to be alomst like an angel to me he certainly became very protective of me as we got older. I know that if it wasn't for God and my family I wouldn't be here writing this. Love, Elisa


From Cathy:

Several years ago I was so overwhelmed by trying to help with all the people in my life who were suffering from illness. I was the caregiver for 3 at one time. I felt like I wasn't doing much for any of them. I was hurt and confused and needed to find a place of solace so I could renew my spirit to be strong for them. I attended a church service and had never visited this church before. The sermon was about finding your way spiritually in life and that it was never too late to find your way home to Him. I remember whispering a prayer and asking God if I sit still would he find me. After the sermon there was a greeting session. I'm a bit shy so I stayed in my seat and looked at the ground. A hand appeared in my vision. I took a hold of it and my eyes followed up the sleeve of the person who was standing there. I looked into her eyes and she said to me, "Welcome Home". I have never looked back.


From Jenni:

One day, not terribly long ago, I went to my desk at work and found a sealed envelope addressed to me.  I couldn't imagine what it was as I hadn't given anyone a gift very recently and so couldn't imagine it being a thank you note.  I opened it and found a really lovely, kind message from a co-worker.  She just wanted to let me know she was praying for me.  It couldn't have come at a better time.  I was having a dark couple of days when she wrote it and reading her message just made everything seem more... conquerable.  It was the reassurance I needed that God was watching over me and that there are people who care about others.


From Tracey:

On my first visit to the Samye Ling Tibetan retreat in Scotland, it was the first time I had driven that far on my own or had ever stayed in a retreat or anything similiar. Not having been there before, I guess I didn't know what to expect and certainly didn't know anybody.I made a phone call home from the public phone box and then retreated to my room until breakfast. When I came down the next morning and I queued for my food, one of the monks came up to me and asked me what my name was. I told him it was Tracey and he then handed me my purse. seems I had left it by the phone box and it was of course returned to me intact with nothing missing....seems somebody had handed it in.

My second story that stands out for me is the time that I flew to Scotland to see His Holiness, The Dalai Lama give a speech. Again, i was a long way from home and travelling alone. When I got to the venue, a group of Tibetan's took me under their wing and once the event finished, they took me for tea and cake as they knew I had a while to wait before my plane home. They wouldn't allow me to buy anything and were incredibly kind and welcoming.

The reason why I use these stories is that from these two Random Acts of Kindness shown to me by total strangers, the "strangers" then went on to become dear friends. Trinley the monk has become an incredibly important part of my life and I have learnt so much from him . I have always maintained that with our small acts of kindness, we can have such a massive impact on other's lives and I am hoping that these two little stories demonstrate that.