Have you ever been skimming through a magazine, a newsletter or a paper only to come upon an article that make you think of someone you know. Have you ever acted upon this random finding by cutting out the article, highlighting it, writing a note and giving it to the person you thought of?
Today, I share this not so much about what I have done but instead I share a gift that was given to me. This random act of kindness brought me so much joy. It was so personal and had much thought put into it, yet I am sure it took little effort or time to put together. It was not one of life’s high priorities, but it had immense payoff by way of the heart and richness of our friendship.
I just happen to come across this gift this morning. I was paging through some material I keep for inspiration. My gift was a one page copy of an article my friend, Todd, had randomly received in his mailbox one day. He had taken the time to go through and highlight the segments of the article that stood out to him as having personal importance.
In one highlighted area, the article read, “But if you live by your own script, the odds are the movie will have a happy ending.” Todd had circled the word “happy” and wrote in near it “joyous”. Prior to reading this article, I had expressed to him my desire to search for joy in life. For I believe that joy is a deep and rich gift from God that can be found even when circumstances do not allow happiness to be present.
At the bottom of the page was a brief note. It said, in general, that the article made him think of me. Then Todd wrote, “I hope you know, I will always support you pursuing your calling. I always try to remember I didn’t write the master plan – I just try to help in anyway I can!”
I received this message about 13 months ago. I have paged through an abundance of material since then, but this one I keep. Rather, this one I cherish because it brings me encouragement. It brings me hope. The author of the article doesn’t know me. I wasn’t on his mind when he was penning the piece. But I was on the mind of a friend who was reading it. A friend who took just a moment to highlight a couple of items and write a brief but personal note.
I will never be able to express with my simple words, the gratitude I have for my friend Todd or for what this gift has meant to me. What I can do is take the inspiration of his random act of kindness and pay it forward.
So I hope that as we are flipping through reading materials of any kind, if we think of someone we let them know by sending it along to them with a little note of encouragement. Who knows how it will PEP UP their day or yours.