My friend Darcie is a military wife. Her amazing husband Travis will soon finish his latest overseas tour. Hallelujah, Jesus, and thank you Darcie, Trav and little Noah for your sacrifice.
Much of Travis’ belongings are making the trip home ahead of him in stages (as he can get them packed up and shipped) and Darcie has made many visits to the post office with Noah for “daddy things.” Yesterday they went to pick up an overstuffed duffel of these daddy things. I’m guessing “Daddy,” who is a strapping guy, had no idea how unwieldy his latest package would be for Darcie and Noah.
Here is Darcie’s Facebook status update: “Noah and I were dragging it out of the lobby, squeezing past a line of fairly young men when we got to the door and an elderly man (in his 70’s or 80’s) took the bag’s handle and asked if he could carry it to my car. Pretty sure the weight of the bag would have killed him so I said no thank you and assured him we were fine. But he held the door for us, and as the door shut I heard him turn to the others standing in line and say, ‘Shame on every one of ya.'”
He made Darcie’s day. He made my day, and all of those who read her post, too, judging by the comments and the number of people who chose “like.” Forgotten in our “like” was that a whole line of men did not step forward (rather, I am guessing, did not step out of line for fear of losing their place). We failed to note that none of the people behind the register thought to find help for her. Nor, apparently, did any women who were likely there give the guy ahead of them a sharp nudge.
Forgotten and forgiven because amongst all the unwillingness to set self aside to help another was one small gift of kindness. The acknowledgement of Darcie’s need, an open door, and the boldness of one man in the gap, correcting the unkindness of a room full of younger people. It was his act of grace alone that stood between Darcie and a bad day.
With this act, all is right with the world. That’s grace extended. It doesn’t take much at this time of year to correct a thousand wrongs with a single act of kindness. We’re pregnant in our waiting for it, fully grace-expectant. Ready to receive, to forgive, to forget and to love in response. We only need to watch, listen, open our hearts and let God do the gifting through us and to us.
“And he shall be called Wonderful, Counselor. the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.” — Isaiah 9:6
May the love and grace of the Prince of Peace shine brightly in you today. Merry Christmas!