Someone once did a random act of kindness for my family–maybe it wasn’t entirely random, but she certainly didn’t have to do it, and to say we appreciated it would be an understatement. I wish I could say more about her, but I’ve had to leave out identifying details because I promised never to reveal her identity. I’m actually stretching the limits of that promise by saying anything about this at all, but I think I can tell the story in a way that will respect her wish.
My husband and I had been married only a few years, with small children to look after. Money was tight because my husband was laid off. On top of this, it had been a rough season in farming, and rather than making money on from his efforts, we had lost (to us) a significant amount. Our suppliers and lenders needed to be repaid as soon as possible, credit card balances were creeping up, and things were not looking good. We were praying for solutions, but solutions seemed in short supply.
One winter afternoon, I was feeling very stressed about the whole situation. I just gotten off the phone from a conversation with one of those lenders who needed to be repaid. The person I had spoken with had been very gracious and understanding, but it didn’t change the fact that I felt very pressured to rectify things. At the very moment when I was trying to wipe the tears from my face, the woman in question came into the otherwise empty room. She asked me what was wrong, so–what else could I do?–I told her.
Her reply: “Go home and talk to your husband. Decide how much you need, and I’ll write you a cheque.” In a nutshell, she said that she led a pretty simple life, and her money didn’t do any good sitting in the bank. I was overwhelmed with gratitude, in awe that someone would do this for someone else, unasked.
The next day, after having checked to see what our most urgent needs were, I gave her a number that I thought was enormous. She actually chuckled, and said, “Is that all?” before writing the cheque. As she gave it to me, she said that she never wanted me to tell anyone what she had done. All she wanted was for us to pray for her, and that someday, we should try to spread this kind of help around to other people, when we were able. A few months later, she brought me a giant bag of brand new stuffed animals, books and toys for our little ones, just because she wanted to.
What an exceptional woman! I still see her occasionally, and stop to chat. She is as kind and cheery as ever, in spite of the challenges she faces in her everyday life. I am still humbled by what she did for us, and I doubt that we are the only ones to have been touched by her kindness. I suspect that, one day, many more stories like this will come out about her. I believe prayers can be answered through people, and she is like an angel to everyone she has helped.