On November 29th, God worked through me to show His unfailing love with a simple act of kindness..
I loved giving and doing acts of kindness within my own comfort zone. I believe a lot of us feel that way sometimes. It’s easy to give and be generous when it’s to people we know, within an area we are familiar with, at a good time for us mentally or financially… But I never knew the impact it would have on me to do something for someone outside that comfort bubble I tend to rest in.
On November 29th, I was stressing. I had been stressing out about money for that whole month, maybe even a few months because I just felt like I was running dry and the money I had made over the summer was disappearing in all sorts of directions. I wasn’t having the best day and I remember talking to my family and boyfriend about my situation, which both kept telling me I had nothing to worry about and if I needed help that they would be there and to focus on school. I absolutely love the comfort of my loved ones and I have been so blessed to have the people that I do in my life… 23 has just been a year where I’ve really wanted to get by on my own and become a lot more independent, especially financially. But I listened to them and tried to calm myself down about how I was feeling and reassuring myself with replaying in my mind what they had said.
I was out driving around town in my car and I decided to go to Panera about 2:30 in the afternoon. I was in the line outside as I saw a man and a woman dressed in rags and covered in sweat and dirt approach the Panera with what looked to be a handful of coins in the woman’s hand. They went inside and about 2 minutes later, they were back outside looking defeated by whatever had happened inside the restaurant. I was looking from afar as they went up to the closest cars in line, asking for a dollar so they could get something to split to eat. I could hear the desperation in their voices and you could tell they really hated having to ask people. Some people denied them with their words, as others rolled up their windows when they got too close. In an honest part of me, I was looking at them with more judgement than love. I was thinking “well how did they get this way” or like a lot of us have maybe thought seeing a homeless person, “what are they really needing that money for?”.
I proceeded through the Panera drive thru, no longer thinking about those people, but of myself and my hunger. As I was paying for my food, I was reaching for my purse when I saw the man and woman sitting at a table at the sonic next door, counting out the coins they had and reading the menu as if they were trying to see what they could afford. I mask of shame grew over me. I began thinking about how I was just worrying about my financial situation earlier, yet I was still able to afford this meal I was buying, in this car I was able to put gas into. I wanted to help, but I was scared of helping. I didn’t know how I could help, but I knew I would regret not doing anything at all. It was in that moment that I felt God lay on my heart, “be a servant, have a servants heart right now, Cassidy.. you are going to drive out of this comfort bubble you are in, you are going to park, step out of your car and meet these people”… I shook my head in fear. I was nervous. I am such a shy person and I don’t always have the most courage when it comes to stepping out of my comfort zone. I drove passed that sonic and started to get onto the main road until I felt this energy from God and I heard Him say to me again, ” I am here with you right now, go to them and trust me”. I turned the car around. My heart was beating a little faster now as I reached the entrance of sonic. They were still sitting at a table with the look of stress and tiredness in their body language. I parked my car and just looked at them for a minute and I took the cash I had out of my wallet and I slowly walked to them. In my head, I was sorta talking/praying to God.. “okay God, let this go well please, I don’t was to offend them, or anything. Please let this go okay”. They were looking down as I got to the table. I said “Hi, this is for you. I hope you all have a Merry Christmas”.. I instantly felt like I should of maybe said something better, or atleast said more, but that thought went away as the woman said to me..”oh my gosh, you are such a blessing. Thank you so much, we are in such a tough place right now”. The man smiled and thanked me as well. I didn’t want to take the credit for that action, it didn’t feel right to give a “you’re welcome”. I just didn’t want to be that kind of person. It wasn’t myself that brought me over there, it was God who pushed me there and so in response to them I said “Merry Christmas” again and then “take care”. They both got up and hit the button on the outdoor menu at sonic with smiles on their faces and began ordering as I walked the other direction to my car. My heart was still racing, but in a more pleasing and satisfied way. That drive home, I prayed to God that I would never forget what I have even in times of struggle and uncertainty. I prayed that this situation would humble my heart and that I be more of a servant to God than I had been in my 23 years of life. The rest of the day, that 20 minute time frame of events played on repeat in my head. I sat in my apartment looking around at everything around me through a different perspective. I texted my Dad and just thanked him for the life he has supplied me and how thankful I have been to have him.. a loving and caring father that takes care of me. I don’t know the background of the man and woman. I don’t even know their names. But one thing I do know is that, they have a loving and caring Heavenly Father that really wanted to help them through me that day.
You know how people say “someone always has it worse” ? Well it’s true. You may have a bad situation going on in your life, or something worrying/stressing you out.. but this world is filled with people that would literally wish to have your problem over what they may be going through. Its okay to feel the way you do about what you are going through. If you feel upset, depressed, angry, failure..feel those feelings and don’t believe your problems do not matter because they do. God asks us to remember those who struggle worse than we do and to help them despite what we may be going through. There are people that are worrying about the next time they are going to eat because they are unsure when that time may be. There are people worrying about how they will keep warm this winter when they don’t have a roof over their head, or clothes on their back. There are people that fear human interactions because they have been denied and denied by those that see their appearance and judge them without knowing their story.
James 2:14-17 says this..
“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you say to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”
Love and love hard. Give without the intent to receive. Sacrifice and take care of your brothers and sisters in Christ even if it may not be “convenient” for you. My heart really changed that day.. that simple act of kindness probably helped me more to benefit my life than it did to help those people. I think thats what God intended for me. I think He knew that they needed help, but so did I. I needed a change in character. I needed to be coming to Him with my worries and to put my focus on how wonderfully blessed my life is. There are times I still catch myself not appreciating every aspect of my life..I’m human, but not a day has gone by where I haven’t thought about those people, or haven’t seen something related to that event and it straightens my thoughts up real fast. Be kind to one another with your words and your actions. This life is such a beautiful thing when you allow God to shine through you.
Stepping out in Faith.