the kindness of a stranger


The kind that makes you “dizzy…my head is spinnin'”. I was diagnosed a couple years ago, and it often comes at unexpected (and inconvenient) times.

This weekend was one of those.

So, by the time Monday rolled around, I was really choosing joy – remembering that I needed to make today the best day ever. That whole thing when you have a mantra to live by.

So, my girl was sick.

Then, my tire was almost flat.

So I drove to the gas station to get air.


I drove to the next gas station.

Only quarters. I had my debit card.

One more time – another gas station.

Out of order.

By the time I got to the fourth station, I was pushing time to arrive at school, my tire was nearly flat, and there was a car already at the air pump. Ergh.

Only quarters again, so I ran inside to buy something cheap and get cash back for the air machine.


“No cash back,” mumbled the grumpy attendant.

I took a deep breath, smiled, and just decided to figure it out after school (with the hope that my tire wasn’t completely flat in the school parking lot by the end of the day).

I walked out to my car, feeling a little (just a little) flat myself, and this stranger was


“I had some extra time on the machine,” the bearded hoodie guy said. With a big smile.

I shook his hand.

“You absolutely made my day! Thank you so much…”


“I’m Carrie.”

And we went our separate ways.

He had no idea what I’d been feeling, what my morning was like, where I’d been.

A simple kindness.

Of course, I made a blubbering phone call to Brady.

“I saw Jesus today. At the gas station. This guy…”

Bearded hoodie guy with the big smile will probably never know what he did. How he made me feel. What his small (to him) big (to me) act of service did for me.

So, on the way home, when I was stuck in traffic for 30 minutes because of construction, I rolled down my window and waved at the guy holding the SLOW sign.

“THANK YOU!” I yelled like a crazy woman.

The gray grizzled man cracked a confused smile.

It wasn’t his fault I was stuck. But I’m sure he saw a whole lot of frowns today. I wanted to be like the air pump bearded hoodie big smile guy. I wanted to give that simple gift to someone else.

Kindness to a stranger.