It was a late Wednesday afternoon. Cold outside, slightly warmer inside. She stood in a long line wrapped around the building for a long while.
But as she twisted her way through the line inside—to collect bruised bananas, days-old bread, a freshly-made PB&J, leftover chocolate cupcakes—she finally made her way to my station. The end of the line.
She didn’t know me. I didn’t know her.
But she handed me her note.
But the sentence at the bottom was what she really wanted me to see. Somebody to see. Because that’s where her heart was. That’s what she needed to say, and needed someone to hear.
“Thank you for helping today
Many people are alive because you care.”
It didn’t have to be my eyes. She told me it was for everyone. To share it around. I did.
But I’m the one getting to keep it. On my dresser. In my heart. To look at and re-read and to remember that when you think your little act of kindness is nothing to you, it could be something to someone else.
And when that someone says thanks—even if you’re not the one who deserves it—you can be the one to accept it.
In Pastor Mark’s sermon Sunday morning, he thanked “us” for years of hard work and flexibility and faith. I had to take it. Even though I’ve only been there a few months.
Because one way to love others is to let them love you.
It’s okay to say “you’re welcome”—to accept the blessing—in order to give a blessing. Even when you don’t deserve it.
You never really deserve it.
It’s the way God’s economy works. Sometimes I think it’s crazy. But that’s grace. And I’m thankful for it.
So I keep the woman’s note. Not as a boost to my ego, but as a testimony to my God. Because he always loves first and he shares the benefits of giving. And receiving.
* * *
Have you ever been thanked when you didn’t deserve it?