Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Kindness of Strangers

One of my favorite plays ends with the famous line, "Whoever you are, I have always depended on the kindness of strangers." 

Of course, the character  is being packed off to a mental institution when she says it, so you know, take it with a grain of salt. But all that is to say I had a most uplifting encounter with a stranger today.

I was shopping at our local PCC with my foursome, trolling around the heirloom tomatoes, when a woman came over and commented to me on how well-behaved they were.

"Are you the mom or the nanny?" she asked. (Something I get a lot. I'm older than I look.)

I told her I was their mom, and her eyes lit up and she said, "You know, I thought you were! You remind me of my friend Patti - she had five kids and homeschooled them all."

I told her that we homeschool, as well. She was so sweet. She told me it was an honor to meet us, told my kids what a wonderful mom they have, and later on she came back with tears in her eyes just to tell me, "If everyone in the world had families like yours, we would live in a utopia!" 

Of course, she's never seen us on a "bad day."  

I don't share this story to brag. Trust me, there are plenty of days when a trip to the grocery store with my kids would only garner stares of the unwelcome sort. But I so often read only about the negative comments large families get. Heck, let's be honest and expand that to "any families with young children!"

Scripture reminds us to focus on the positive. The true, noble, pure, right, lovely, and admirable. The excellent and praiseworthy. This woman not only spoke these things into my life, her words are those things. Sometimes, it's nice to be reminded that the kindness of strangers still abounds.

The fact is, large families don't always get a lot of support, especially from those who are environmentally-conscious (as shoppers at PCC are), so this really made my day. I hope, by sharing it here, a little of the blessing has rubbed off on you. I know I'm going to remember it on the days when things don't go quite as smoothly.

Thank you, stranger at PCC! You blessed me in abundance with your kindness!!

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