I recently took my kids to our local Chick-fil-A for breakfast. It had been a long week of weather-related school closures and we needed a change of scenery. I also needed to not have a kitchen full of dirty dishes before 9am. We ordered our food, quickly scarfed down our Chicken Minis, and the boys then ran off to the play area for some fun while my daughter and I enjoyed a few precious moments of quiet time together. We basked in the peaceful bliss for as long as we could, but eventually had to leave, grabbing our belongings and a handful of mints as we headed out. Well, at least I thought I had grabbed all of my belongings.
Thirty minutes later, I realized that I had failed to grab the most important item: my wallet. I immediately went into panic mode. Of course this happened at the exact time that my two youngest began an epic battle of “he touched/hit/looked at me.” After reasoning with (okay threatening) them to be quiet for 2 minutes, I dialed the number to Chick-fil-A while saying a string of prayers in my head.
Although I am aware that a lost wallet is not the worst thing that could happen, it is still overwhelming, scary, and a huge hassle. Aside from worrying about what damage was possibly happening to my bank account at that very moment, I was freaking out that I was without any means of making a purchase for the next several days. My bank isn’t local and and it would take days to even expedite a new bank card. I could write a check, but what store would accept a check without an ID? Hubby? He happened to be out of town at the time . And I needed to grocery shop. Oh, and put gas in the car. It was definitely not the best scenario.
My phone call was answered on the second ring. The female voice on the other end was very polite but did not have good news. No wallet had been turned in. To my surprise, she kept me on the line while she asked questions. When exactly had I been there? Where had I been sitting? What did my wallet look like? She walked over to the seating area and began to look for my wallet. I could hear her asking guests if they had seen it. And then she excitedly told me that she had found it. My prayers had been answered by a very kind employee who went out of her way to help and and a very honest customer who spotted it next near her seat.
I was able to pick up my wallet 30 minutes later. I didn’t get to see either of my wallet-finding angels, but I had at least been able to thank them both over the phone. As I slipped the strap of the wallet over my wrist, I wasn’t at all worried about anything being missing. I somehow knew that everything would be inside. My angels had been looking out for me. I couldn’t help but think that it must have been my reward for the several times that I had found a wallet or a credit card and made sure that it had found it’s way back to it’s owner. Good karma, right?
Fast-forward four days. The hubby was still out of town and I needed to run a few errands around the dreaded dinner hour. I’ll admit it – I bribed the kids with Chick-fil-A. (Hey, we lived 5 years without a Chick-fil-A nearby and my kids intend to make up for lost time!) When we walked in, we happened to be greeted by the owner who was sitting in the lobby talking with another man. After some time there (again, the kids had to spend time in the play area), I could no longer resist the urge to talk to him.
He was very gracious as I interrupted. He listened intently as I told him how grateful I was for the help of his very kind employee. Had she not taken those extra steps to help me, I’d have been in a mess. I was there to thank him for his staff, but he ended up thanking me. He then quoted Proverbs 11:25 – A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. He said that because I had been generous with my words, he wanted to pass on the kindness and handed me a coupon for a Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich.
We talked for a few more minutes as I thanked him again and mentioned my passion for random acts of kindness. Eloquent is not an adjective I’d use to describe my side of the conversation – I was too preoccupied with what had occurred. My head was swirling. How had I been so lucky to get my wallet back? What motivated me go back to Chick-fil-A so soon after my previous visit? It’s not really a norm for us, even it was convenient. Why did the owner happen to be sitting in the lobby that night? What made me to feel so compelled to talk with him that I would interrupt his conversation? And what prompted him to counter with an act of kindness?
And I remembered. There is a bigger plan. There are no coincidences.
The cycle of kindness had continued. I was able to be the beneficiary of it. Proof that the cycle of kindness continues if we make the effort to continue it. Perhaps with something as simple as a smile, a “thank you”, or a chicken sandwich. We can make a difference by our actions and our words. We have the ability to impact someone’s mood, change the course of their day, their week, and perhaps even their future. Every time I have been a recipient of a random act of kindness or witnessed one, it has encouraged me to do more and to try harder to leave a positive mark on the world.
Random Acts of Kindness matter. We may not always get to see the impact of our kindness. And we probably won’t always get a chicken sandwich for it. But there is always an impact. We will be refreshed. At the very least…in our own hearts.
P.S. My oldest son (aka the bottomless pit, devour-er of chicken sandwiches) is going to be very disappointed to learn that I will be passing that coupon on to someone else (other than him) to continue the chain of kindness. Maybe we just shouldn’t tell him…