This month, we are delighted to share an experience from Lyn’s daughter, Ellen.
Have you ever had an impulsive idea pop into your head and acted on it without thought? I’m sure most of us have, and with varying results. One warm summer night this last August, a spontaneous notion turned my small corner of the world upside-down and proved yet again, that nothing is truly random.
I had ventured out for a late night caffeine fix then spent the following hour and a half swept up in a sweet series of small acts of service. Despite my initial reluctance to share on social media, I could not ignore the pressing feeling I had that my experience might help someone. I assumed it would be read by a handful of people and hopefully give them a little boost. An hour later however, it had received several comments and a few dozen shares. Within two weeks it had taken on a life of its own. (** Link to the original post at bottom)
An inspirational author and speaker (Brooke Romney) happens to live in my area and saw the post that had been shared to a Facebook group for our town. She reached out and asked to repost on her Instagram account where she has amassed a considerable following. Between the breadth of her audience, and the thousands of shares on Facebook, I found myself reading through hundreds upon hundreds of comments and direct messages.
People from all over the world were expressing the hope and joy they felt in reading the chain of goodness started by a kind teenager. They voiced their desire to do and be better, to take notice of those around them more carefully, and recognize that we’re all depleted and doing our best. They also shared their own experiences of service rendered by or to them. Many of those became their own stories as other readers followed up with additional offers to help.
One woman told of recently learning that her housekeeper had been widowed and had also taken in three nieces whose mother had died. She explained that she had enlisted her daughter’s help in raising funds to get beds for them so they’d no longer have to sleep on the floor. They were also working on helping with winter clothing and other items. Several readers chimed in with offers of additional assistance. The tears spilled freely as I took in hers and all the other stories.
One of those who viewed the Instagram post was the wife of a corporate officer for one of the companies I visited and named in my original story. She showed it to her husband who then shared it at their board meeting that week. He called me, among other things, to let me know the plans they’d made to reward their employee for his exemplary attitude and work ethic. He also sent me over $500 worth of gift cards that my children and I have had the privilege of gifting to dozens of individuals.
I have also been contacted by half a dozen small charity organizations. They each asked permission to include the post in their newsletters or blogs. As I visited all of their websites, I learned that most of them were born from their grief of loved ones lost. I feel infinitely blessed to have learned of these wonderful groups. I have felt overwhelmed by the connections made with so many others who truly want to do good in the world.
Our world is heavy right now. I understand this isn’t the first time is has been so, but for so many, it is their first time experiencing such discouraging circumstances. And for those who have seen more of history, it probably feels disheartening to see a return to so much contention. I truly believe my experience was viewed and shared more than half a million times across multiple platforms only because the message of hope and kindness resonates so powerfully within us. Love and understanding are what our souls crave.
This has intensely reinforced that nothing is random. I promise the little promptings I had to do something nice were a divine hand guiding me to do what God needed done. The unshakable urge to write it out was the same. More often than not, we won’t see the result of our small kindnesses. However, these last few months have proven that it all matters. Every good thing lightens the darkness for both receiver and giver.
** Find the original post here.