Saturday, February 23, 2013

Sometimes the smallest things can mean the world to somebody

I had a little something happen the other day that keeps replaying through my mind.

I was at an event with a lot of colleagues, friends, and even some strangers. We'd enjoyed a nice dinner and a little program, then - as is the culture for events of this nature - many of the attendees stayed to help with the clean-up and take-down. In the process of my busyness, I noticed an older gentleman, whom I like to consider my friend, looking a little out of place. It wasn't that he didn't belong at the event, because he certainly did, but there seemed to be an emptiness in his eyes and a "lost" aura about him.

Knowing this gentleman and the troubles he's recently experienced, I offered to pack up some left over food for him to take home. He graciously accepted the offer and I went to work.

Before long, he'd joined me in the kitchen and we chatted as we put together enough food to feed him for nearly a week.Those who know me best will never believe this, but I didn't offer a lot to the conversation. I added small comments and the occasional understanding nod, but it was mostly him who spoke. I was content to listen.

As I handed him the freshly packaged food, moisture glistened from his eyes. And, as he wrapped his arms around me, I realized it wasn't the food he needed, it was simply a sympathetic listening ear.

It got me thinking - wondering, really - just how often I get so busy in my perceived "busyness" and fail to  recognize the "lonely" gentleman standing in my path. How often do I take the time to look around for those who might just be needing an open ear and a caring heart? Service really doesn't take a lot. Sometimes its a simple as a "Hi" and other times it means taking a whole day to help someone out, but in the end, even the most minuscule seeming service can fill your soul overflowing.

I hope I never forget just how much a small act of kindness could mean to someone.

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