About seven months ago, I was living in Australia with my sister-best-friend (she’s a touch closer than just a bestie) in a granny flat on her parent’s waterfront property. It was getting late, and we hadn’t quite sorted out dinner; I think we were having one of those lazier Netflix days when dinner time snuck up on us. No one felt like cooking. I also believe my female hormones were getting to their peak, so we caved into getting a good ol’ cheat meal. We hopped into the car and off we went to find some good grub. I don’t drive, so I volunteered as tribute and went inside to order our food. Not long after being in the line, a young boy and his mom stood behind me. I finished with my order, moved out of the way and proceeded to wait.
As they joined the line, I stood there and thought it would be nice if I paid for their meal…then I brushed the thought away. Their turn came, and I noticed them struggle with the change they had – a process of counting coins and re-adjusting the food they ordered until they just made a decision and ordered.
Meanwhile, this whole time I’m having a conversation with myself, telling myself to just pay for them. The other side of me said ‘no that’s weird, they’ll think I’m are a weird person, a weird Christian.’
In the end, I received my food and headed back to the car. In my heart, I knew I should have paid for them, and I chickened out. I felt shame, but mostly I felt tired.
I am so tired of being scared to show kindness.
Seriously, the worst they could say is no! Or if I had been clever, they would have never known it was me. After I had thought about it a lot, I came up with some ideas on how to work on my kindness.
- Budget for Kindness. Look at your budget and figure out how much flexibility you have to do so. Is it coffee, cake, both…is it for one person or two?
- Preplan. Try and have the cash or change in your pocket, and maybe if you’re really trying to do it secretly, attach a note to money so when you hand it to the cashier so they can read it and know it’s for the next person’s meal. You will never have to say a word!
- Do it with a brave heart. Rejection isn’t the end of the world, and it’s not a good enough excuse not to try.
I forget a lot of things, like what I wore the day before, or what I was going to buy from the store. However, I will never forget that boy, his mom and that moment. I don’t want to be scared anymore of being kind. After all, it’s the whole point of being put on this earth!