Week 16 – 5th Fruit of the Spirit

Fruits of the Spirit – Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control

Kindness is one of the greatest gifts you can bestow upon another.  If someone is in need lend them a helping hand.  Do not wait for a thank you.  True kindness lies within the act of giving without the expectation of something in return.

As someone quoted, “I shall pass this way but only once; any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show – let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”

Kindness is an inner desire that makes us want to do good things, even if we do not get anything in return.  It is the joy we receive that drives these simple acts.  When we perform acts of kindness, driven solely by an insatiable desire to love one another, there is kindness in everything we think, say, and do.

This week we are to look for random acts of kindness.  We are to do nice things for other people and also to observe how other people are giving kindnesses.  We can be kind to people without the expectation of reciprocity.  We can try to do random acts of kindness for people without their knowledge.  We are to post on the Alliances our observations of kindness and how we have helped others with kindness.  It is our week to give more, get more kindness.

What kind of ripple effect do you think will happen?  Do something kind for someone even just a passing smile as you walk by a stranger can make their day better.  Maybe they will then smile at the next person or do something kind in turn.  The more you give the more you get.  The more kindness you give the more kindness you get.  How awesome is that.

In my search for something to continue to write about kindness I came across the following article and could not pass up passing it along.  It was very hard to keep the tears back and the lump out of my throat:

A NYC Taxi driver wrote:

I arrived at the address and honked the horn.  After waiting a few minutes I honked again.  Since this was going to be my last ride of my shift I thought about just driving away, but instead I put the car in park and walked up to the door and knocked.. ‘Just a minute’, answered a frail, elderly voice.  I could hear something being dragged across the floor.

After a long pause, the door opened.  A small woman in her 90’s stood before me.  She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940’s movie.

By her side was a small nylon suitcase.  The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years.  All the furniture was covered with sheets.

There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters.  In the corner was a cardboard box with photos and glassware.

‘Would you carry my bag out to the car?’ she said.  I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman.

She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb.

She kept thanking me for my kindness.  ‘It’s nothing’, I told her… ‘I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother to be treated.’

‘Oh, you’re such a good boy, she said.  When we got in the cab, she gave me an address and then asked, ‘Could you drive through downtown?’

‘It’s not the shortest way,’ I answered quickly…

‘Oh, I don’t mind, ‘she said.  ‘I’m on my way to a hospice.

I looked in the rear-view mirror.  Her eyes were glistening.  ‘I don’t have any family left,’ she continued in a soft voice… ‘The doctor says I don’t have very long.’  I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.

‘What route would you like me to take?’  I asked.

For the next two hours, we drove through the city.  She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator.

We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds.  She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.

Sometimes she’d ask me to slow down in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, I’m tired.  Let’s go now’.

We drove in silence to the address she had given me.  It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico.

Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up.  They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move.  They must have been expecting her.

I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door.  The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

“How much do I owe you?’  She asked, reaching into her purse.

‘Nothing,’ I said.

‘You have to make a living,’ she answered.

Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug.  She held onto me tightly.

‘You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,’ she said.  ‘Thank you.’

I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light…  Behind me, a door shut.  It was the sound of the closing of a life…

I didn’t pick up any more passengers that shift.  I drove aimlessly lost in thought.  For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk.  What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift?  What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?

On a quick review, I don’t think that I have done anything more important in my life.

We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments.

But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

Thanks for reading.

Bill

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4 thoughts on “Week 16 – 5th Fruit of the Spirit

  1. Luc

    Thank you for this beautiful story Bill, it made me cry and see how life can be simple and beautiful each time we think of seizing the present moment.

    Reply

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