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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Guest Blogger Shares Observations on Random Acts of Kindness

Who Does That? 

Recently, I sat in the waiting room of a doctor’s office. The door opened; I assumed I would be ushered to the exam room. But no, it was a woman I had never met. She explained she worked in the back office, but had seen me from time to time. She said to me, “I just wanted to come out and tell you what a pretty smile you have.” 

Later, I was with a friend in a local store that specialized in beads of all shapes and sizes, textures and colors. As my friend discussed her needs with the owner, I chatted with another employee, a young woman named Kara. She wore a beaded bracelet, an intricate masterpiece that had taken her 80 to 90 hours to create. My friend and I both admired the amazing piece of art. Several days later, my husband and I had occasion to be in the same store. Kara approached us. I introduced her to my husband and encouraged him to appreciate the bracelet. Clearly, she wore it every day. The following moment, she took the bracelet off and said, “Here, I want you to have it. “ She placed it on my wrist, and though I protested, she remained resolute. 

These two independent interactions ultimately begged the same question:  “Who does that?” Who takes the time to leave their office to extend a compliment to a woman she does not know? Who bestows a painstakingly crafted item of jewelry upon a relative stranger?
Seriously … Who does that? 

The question does have an answer. People with lovely, generous hearts, and kind, thoughtful  spirits do such things. They turn good thoughts into meaningful action. They take the extra step, go the additional mile, with only one thing in mind: doing something nice for someone else with no thought of personal gain.  

So … question asked, question answered. Case closed. 

No. It is not enough to simply pose a question and then content myself with the obvious answer.  I know experiencing these two significant interactions demands a more deliberate response. I decided it was incumbent upon me to revise the answer to the question.
Who does that? I DO THAT. 

I want to be one of those generous, thoughtful people. I prayed for help. I asked the Holy Spirit to quicken my heart, whisper softly in my ear, whenever the occasion to extend love to one of His children presented itself. He heard my prayer and as already answered it, allowing me to pass His beautiful heart on to another.  

Perhaps others might do likewise. Imagine a world where many people said, “I do that. At every opportunity, I selflessly offer love and kindness to others through my words and actions.” Imagine how much joy that could bring, how many lives might be changed, if even just a little.

Imagine how God, creator of the entire universe, would smile.
And speaking of God smiling 

I have worked in the eating disorder field for many years.  I know the hardship, struggle, and pain associated with these terrible diseases.  I recognize and respect how difficult it is to achieve recovery.  But eating disorders inhabit the darkness; we serve a God of light.  If you let Him, He will help you throw off those dark shackles and enter the light where you can live free.  Additionally, he will pull the scales from your own eyes and allow you to focus on the needs of the world around  you, instead of the ever-escalating demands of an eating disorder.  As you grow into  the type of person who says “I do that,” God will smile on you, in you, and through you. 

Submitted by Guest Blogger, Debra Cooper, Expert writer on eating disorders

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