“Do your little bit of good where you are; it is those little bits of good put all together that overwhelm the world.” -Desmond Tutu
“I cannot do all the good the world needs. But the world needs all the good I can do.” -Jana Stanfield
“I’m starting to think this world is just a place for us to learn that we need each other more than we want to admit.” -Richelle E. Goodrich
“Do things for people not because of who they are or what they do in return, but because of who you are.” -Rabbi Harold Kushner
“Many small people, in small places, doing small things can change the world.” -Eduardo Galeano
“There is some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for. ” -Tolkien
“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.” -Ghandi
“Where there is kindness there is goodness. Where there is goodness, there is magic.” -Ella from Cinderella
Mending Those We May Never Meet.
For the last week of our “mending” challenge we are focusing on mending those we may never meet. And we have gathered up quite a few resources to sew things for strangers that we will post tomorrow. First up, a couple of stories.
A Story of a Basketball jersey.
Several years ago I read a story that stuck with me. It was about a young man serving as a missionary in a small village in west Africa. He was on the street walking one day when he saw a young boy wearing a small green basketball jersey similar to one he had worn as a child playing on a city league. He went up to the boy and asked him a few questions and asked the boy about his shirt.
The young boy took off the shirt and showed the missionary and sure enough the missionary’s name was scribbled inside with a sharpie. His very own basketball jersey was now on a young African boy halfway around the world.
The missionary telling the story went on to say how much seeing that young boy in his old basketball jersey affected him and how it made him want to do so much good in the world. It showed him just how small the world was and just how related we are to one another.
I love that story. I think it shows the tenderness that can come from two strangers.
A grocery store story.
I watched a video the other day about a man who was interviewing people on the street. His main question was “Have you ever met a stranger that you will never forget?” The stories were remarkably simple that people shared but they were so profound for that individual. Here is a story of a stranger that changed my life.
Many years ago I was waiting in line at the grocery store. It was the holidays and as they always are, the lines were long and the store was packed. Several aisles over from me a woman caught my eye. She was about 10 people ahead of me in line, with 6 or 7 young children–three of which were small and sitting in a cart crying. The oldest, a girl about 10 was holding an infant while her mother was trying to unload the cart as fast as she could and pay. The infant was also screaming and the older girl was doing all she could to bounce the screaming baby. That poor woman was a sight.
But it’s not story of the overwhelmed mother that changed my life…..it was my reaction.
I did nothing to help her.
Being young and dumb I was trying to keep my own children corralled in a cart…..but I didn’t help. I knew she needed it. It was obvious to all of us in that store.
Why didn’t I go pick up a child? Why didn’t I offer some fruit snacks or something else I surely had in my own diaper bag? More importantly, why did I just stand there?
I have no excuses…..but I remember that driving home I just cried. Because I was so upset with myself that I didn’t help a stranger. And that drive home…I decided that any time I saw something like that in the future…that I would do something about it.
And I have tried to do just that. I haven’t been perfect…and I have surely embarrassed myself and my children along the way. But someday I want my children to remember that their mom went out of her way to help people.
French Fries, Dinner and Denny’s.
One more story to share and then I promise I am done.
A couple of years ago liZ and I were in Fenton, MO at babylock’s headquarters to do some filming. After all of our filming one night we walked next door to the hotel to get some food at Denny’s. It’s what we always do when we visit Fenton (it’s a tradition!). We had filmed most of the day so we were pretty tired and we ordered some food with lots of fries and Oreo milkshakes to celebrate in the best food way possible…another Fenton tradition for us.
Seated one booth behind liZ’s back and my front view, was an older mother and her handicapped son who were also having dinner. The mother ordered meals for both she and her son. When the food came, she asked for two boxes right away. With each box, she carefully and evenly divided half the food from their plates and boxed it up to take it home. She was going to make two full meals out of their dinner.
My eye caught the woman later when she sat at the table long after we were done with our fries and milkshakes and began counting out a large portion of change to pay their server.
As we were leaving we went up to the cash register and whispered as to not draw attention to the mother that we would like to pay for their meal as well as our own. I remember after that we hurried out as fast as we could after that giggling….because the woman and son were getting up to leave and we didn’t want to get caught.
It was a big thing. It was just a thing. A thing that most of you probably do so often for others. But it was a sweet reminder that one small thing can be a big thing for someone else.
So this week, we are going to focus on strangers and I plan to get my whole family involved!
Tomorrow I will share a list of places to sew for…but we are also going to look for ways to do some “physically distanced” ways of serving strangers as well.
I think it is going to be a fantastic week!