There is one thing that makes me cry quicker than anything else.
I know. I’m a sap, but kindness gets me every time. Flowers from a friend. An offered prayer (not just “I will pray for you,” but an actual prayer). When someone offers to let me go ahead in line, carries my bags, shovels my driveway, mails Shaina cards.
A couple of weeks ago, a warm letter from a young man who thanked me for what he saw as my kindness toward his family had me running for the Kleenex box.
Last week, a customer service rep at Health Partners began figuratively running uphill alongside me as I try to work through onerous HIPAA regs that make accessing Shaina’s records nearly impossible. She goes above and beyond what is expected of her. Every time I talk to her I cry, like most of my encounters with health care paper-shufflers. Except when I talk to her my tears are joyful!
Yesterday, it was a warm greeting from Cody, the valet at Woodwinds, where Shaina goes for cardiac rehab. We haven’t been at Woodwinds for several days while we wait for test results. I dropped off her heart monitor at the front desk and he greeted me like a lost friend, walked me back to the van, opened my door to greet Shaina, who was waiting for me, and told her he misses her. When I put the van in drive, I found my cheeks damp with tears.
Why does kindness make me cry? I am not sure.
Maybe it is the image of Jesus in each kindness that I encounter. Maybe it is that I have been so consumed with our own issues that I feel a tinge of guilt that I do not go out of my way to be kind as often as I should. Maybe it is that I am a sucker for nice young people.
Or just maybe it is that kindness seems to be so lacking in the world that an act of kindness takes me by surprise, much like the blast of fresh air on a crisp winter day.
Sadly, I think much of it might be the latter. Kindness toward Shaina especially turns on the water works. People are not often kind to others with disabilities.
Today, I am going to find a way to be kind to at least three people. I just hope I don’t make them cry. I dislike when people do that. It seems so, well… sappy!