This Little Light of Mine


I firmly resolved to have all of my holiday packages mailed out by December 1st this year, so naturally, this morning, eleven days later, found me at the post office, scrambling wildly to get three very large boxes out of my trunk and balanced on top of each other in such a way that I could carry them while still holding a four year old’s hand tightly in mine as we crossed the icy parking lot.

The he showed up: my hero. He was a middle-aged man, dressed for working in some downtown office building, smiling warmly and surrounded by a faint corona of angelic light as he asked, “Can I give you a hand with those?” The heavenly gleam was joined by the clear sound of an otherworldly hallelujah choir as I eagerly accepted his offer of help. I carried a box under one arm and steered Caleb to the post office doors while my benefactor hoisted the other two packages. We landed them in a stack on the countertop inside, and with a heartfelt “Have a great day!” he was gone, probably on his way to rescue a trapped child from a burning building or thwart Lex Luthor’s latest evil plot.

Good Samaritans. They’re out there. And never do their glowing good deeds stand out in starker relief than during this crazy, hustle-bustle season of love, goodwill, and bloody gladiator death matches over the last Cyber Stompin’ Bumblebee Transformer in stock.

I’d like to thank a few of them.

To my post office rescuer: Thank you for noticing what a hard time I was having juggling all those packages. Thank you for stopping in the middle of whatever else you were doing this morning and giving me three minutes, a smile, and two very needed helping hands. You were Christmas spirit personified.

To the lady who let me pull out in front of her when it looked like the horrible rush hour traffic was going to keep me locked in the gas station parking lot forever: Thank you for thinking of your fellow drivers. Thank you for pausing for a moment on your journey home from the office to help someone else get home faster, too. Thank you for the friendly wave you gave me and the understanding smile that made my tensed up shoulders and craning neck instantly relax.

To the older gentleman in front of me in the checkout line: Thank you for the sweet, spontaneous gesture of paying for my items along with your own. I wasn’t expecting that, and your “Merry Christmas!” and jaunty salute as you walked away sealed the silly grin on my face. I know it was only a few dollars for you, but it meant a fuller stocking for my kiddo, and a growing sense of gratitude in me. I hope you whistled Christmas carols all the way home.

To the three guys from my apartment building who helped me carry in a month’s worth of groceries last week: Thank you for lending your strong backs and arms to one very tired mom, fresh from wrestling a young child through several stores in an increasing state of grumpiness. I know you had just come back from playing basketball, and were probably tired yourselves, but you offered your help cheerfully anyway.

To the anonymous gift giver from church who paid for Paul and I to enjoy a night out at Wolf Lodge that first lean year we lived here, when we barely had money for rent:  Thank you for seeing how much we needed a date night, and for providing a wonderful one.  I’ve never had such delicious steak!  And it tasted even better knowing that it was the generous offering of a heart that gave for giving’s sake, without expectation of return.  That was a rough winter, and the loving family that surrounded us reflected a lot of warmth into our lives.

To the guy who pushed me out of the snow bank I was stuck in:  Thank you for stopping to help when you saw another helpless Idaho transplant hung up in the snow like a tourist.  Thanks for not laughing when I accidentally gunned the engine and dug myself in even deeper.  This Georgia girl is still learning a few things about driving on snow and ice, and you made me feel better.  Thanks to you, I got to school in time to pick Katie up.

To all good Samaritans: I’m glad you’re out there, shining your light, spreading your joy, lifting people’s spirits, and giving of yourselves so freely and without reservation that it clearly comes naturally. Whether it’s changing a flat tire or returning a shopping cart to the cart corral, the kindness you’ve shown has really made a difference. I promise to pass it on!


Have you met (or been) a good Samaritan?


14 responses »

  1. Yes, last year about this day I slid off the road by the orchard about two miles from my house. I was okay, but my car was turned the opposite direction in the snow off the road in the deep snow.Three young men (drinking hot chocolate!) stopped, checked on me, and backed out my car and got me back on the road.

  2. Isn’t it amazing how one simple little action that takes hardly any time at all can completely ease someone’s load and make their day brighter? I try to remember to do these things, but thanks for the reminder of how good it is to do stuff like this and how appreciated it is.

  3. Thanks for the reminder to stop and be that smile-maker to others. I’m totally guilty of being busy busy. Time to stop and think and spread some cheer! 🙂

    Merry Christmas! 🙂

  4. It’s so much easier to be a good samaritan, or to step-in and help out, when you don’t have 3 kiddos in tow. I’m usually the recipient of someone’s help – something as simple as holding the door open for an extended amount of time because 1 of my kiddos is having a melt down 5 feet from the door and won’t walk thru it…i always apologize profusely when that happens, but always appreciate the knowing ‘nod’ and reassuring smile 🙂

  5. Last year, a particularly lean year fiscally, I received a chunk of cash in the mail from “santa claus” – return receipt, ‘NORTH POLE”. This year is even worse but I am so touched by last year’s benevolence it almost doesn’t matter.

    This year… I bought clothes & toys for a child from an area shelter. And gave a lady behind me in line at the toy store a coupon for 10% off your order of $100+. (I didn’t have $100+ but she certainly did.)

    That’s not as good as your people, but it’s what i could do . I do try.

  6. Hey…when you add more stuff, you need to mark it so that we all know when we’re checking back later…I almost missed the “the gift giver” and the “snow bank pusher-outer”! And, having something new to read from you is always a pleasure, even if it’s just an add-on 🙂

  7. Thanks for sharing, you guys! I love hearing about your experiences.

    Sorry, Jennifer! I’ll try to add a note when I edit an entry. Sometimes I’m reading through it after posting and think of something else to say! Thanks for the kind words. 😀

  8. I love, love, LOVE this post! We never hear enough stories like this nowadays, so it’s great to read so many in one place.

    Just last night, as I was driving back from visiting my family in Oklahoma, I was in a line of traffic. I had turned my blinker on to let the line of drivers in the left lane know I needed over. A few cars passed me, and there were still three or four left before it would be clear for me to jump in behind them. I was having to slow quite a bit because the car in front of me was driving well under the speed limit.

    Then, the car that was about to pass me to the left slowed to let me in. I moved over and turned on my flashers for a couple seconds as a thank you. The driver flashed his lights at me for a “You’re welcome” message.

    I had found myself in that situation a few times on my three-hour drive, so to find a driver who went out of his or her way to let me in made me smile. After our simple communication with our lights, I was smiling even more.

    The smallest acts of kindness can make such a big difference!

  9. We received $1000 this year…a huge blessing since we haven’t sold our house yet, Malinda’s been unemployed, I was unemployed for a month, and my salary’s 1/2 of what it was and only covers the house and car payments.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s