Yesterday morning after I dropped Annie off I headed to Panera to cash in my free birthday pastry offer before it expired, since I always let those things expire and wasn’t about to this time! It’s the little things. I walked into the busy location and waited in line, deciding I would indulge myself with that big-as-my-face cinnamon roll because I’m almost seven months pregnant and need it, right? I sure thought so. By the time it was my turn to order I was pretty excited about my free cinnamon roll and hazelnut coffee I would order and even more excited I’d only have to pay for the coffee. The woman who took my order looked about my age, bright and bubbly, and asked me how far along I was.
26 weeks and counting.
She lied and told me she could barely tell so I pushed back my cardigan so she could better see the big bump in all its glory. She oohed and aahed and asked how I was feeling – did I have lots of aches and pains?
More so these days, but nothing too major.
She told me about her own pregnancy and we chatted about our sassy toddlers, connecting as mamas who were always in need of caffeine. She directed those behind me to go to the other cashier with a smile and talked to me without any sort of rush, despite the hustle and bustle. I pulled out my card to pay and she smiled a big smile and told me this was on her, that we mamas have to stick together. I insisted she let me pay but she shushed me and sent me on my way with a “Have the best day, friend!”
I walked out with a big smile on my face, thankful for that unexpected connection and random act of kindness that energized me before I took my first sip of much-needed half-caff. She didn’t preach a sermon or quote any scripture to me but she showed me Jesus – by her smile, her taking a few minutes to connect, and her kindness in buying my coffee.
“Be kind to one another.” – Ephesians 4:32
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.” – Colossians 3:12
“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unaware.” – Hebrews 13:2
It all got me thinking – how can I be Jesus to those around me? How can I let go of my to-do list long enough to open my eyes and be watchful for opportunities to show kindness and love to those around me, friends and strangers alike?
Short list: open the door for the next person, ask the cashier/waiter how their day is going, give a genuine compliment, buy coffee for the person in line behind you, send a gratitude email to a coworker, surprise your neighbor with something homemade, send a “just because” note to someone via snail mail, offer to help a mother with her stroller/grocery cart/literally anything, take a friend out to lunch, let that person have the better parking space.
What do you think? What would you add? Let’s make this world a kinder place by being Jesus and spreading kindness – and good coffee – freely.