This post was written for the devotional book, “Chicken Soup for the Soul~Random Acts of Kindness”. There is no publication date as of yet. It is shared here by their permission. I’ll find out if it will be published as soon as a release dated is issued. It is quite different than my usual posts. I hope you enjoy it!
I couldn’t help but to feel grateful for my small five foot frame as I moved around inside my minivan fastening the buckles on the car seats of my daughter, Lindsey, and my son, Devon. Sheets of rain fell from the sky on that chilly autumn morning. Only the most necessary of errands could have moved me out of a warm, dry house on such a morning.
As I pulled out of my parking space and approached the parking lot exit, I looked to the left for oncoming traffic. Much to my surprise, a wrinkly skinned, gray haired lady flashed a toothless smile at me. She stood in the pouring rain with no umbrella and no raincoat waiting for the bus. My heart stirred for her. I couldn’t just drive away and do nothing. I reached back into the center of the van and pulled out my one and only umbrella and ran it over to her. She took the umbrella without a word spoken as raindrops fell from the gray stringy strands of hair along the side of her face. She stood holding that umbrella as I pulled out and drove away. Even though I was now soaked to the bone and the kids and I were without an umbrella, I was thrilled at the opportunity to do something for someone else. It was such a gratifying feeling, warming my heart on a cold, raw day.
Later that day, after naps, we were in the kitchen. The sugar cookie dough was done setting up in the refrigerator and we were getting the stuff together to roll out some much anticipated pumpkin shaped cookies. Rolling pin, flour, cookie cutters, parchment paper, two excited preschoolers, all ready for action. The last thing needed was decorative sugar. I reached into the cupboard and pulled out the box of colored sugar and handed it to my daughter. The excited smile melted off her face like the last remnants of snow giving way to spring’s warming breeze.
“What’s wrong, sweetie?” I asked without a clue.
“There’s only red, green, and pink sugar here, mommy. I want orange for my pumpkins,” she said with a heavy sigh.
“Well, baby, it’ll have to do. There is no way on earth that we’re going back out in the pouring rain with no umbrella to buy colored sugar.”
At that moment, as if there was a stage hand at the ready, behind the curtain waiting to ring a bell on cue to keep a play moving in perfect timing…the doorbell rang. Greatly relieved for the momentary pause as my daughter’s lips puckered as if holding back her tears, I scurried to the door. I opened the door just in time to watch a brown boxy delivery truck pull away. Lying on my welcome mat was a package. I thought it must be something my husband ordered. But as I turned and walked toward the kitchen, my eyes gazed down to see my name written on the label. The return address was my friend and mentor’s, Ella. She was an amazing woman. Genuine. Loving. Godly. Sincere.
I couldn’t imagine what she sent to me or why she sent it. She only lived fifteen minutes away. She loved to send cards of encouragement and I cherished each and every one of them. Funny though, I never received a package from her. The kids clamored to help me open the package. Ripping back tape and pulling out crumpled newspaper with the excitement of Christmas morning, we found a card with my name written on it. I lifted it up and Lindsey squealed with amazement and pure delight!
“Mommy,” she said, “LOOK, it’s colored sugar!”
Sure enough the box was full of sugar in every color of the rainbow! Bottles of orange, brown, green, blue, purple, red, yellow, and pink filled the box along with teeny tiny shaped candies. Little pumpkins, leaves, stars, hearts, clovers, candy canes, Christmas trees, and Easter eggs accompanied the brightly colored sugars. Lindsey beamed. Tears swelled my eyes as I read Ella’s card. She had been to a food trade show in Chicago with her husband who is a food broker. She couldn’t wait to get these to the kids and me to enjoy so she expressed shipped them as soon as they were back in town.
I put the card down and wiped my tears trying to refocus on the cookie making process with the kids. I drew a deep, soothing breathe just as Lindsey exclaimed, “Oh Mommy, look how did Ella know that you needed an umbrella?” There tucked in the side of the box was a brand new umbrella with the name of the food show on it.
The rest of the afternoon I felt my feet barely brush the floor as I moved around the house baking cookies, caring for the children and making dinner. I felt light and breezy. I felt loved and loving.
Later that evening, as we finished up dinner, we broke out the cookies. My husband and two older, school aged boys were quite impressed by the decorative candy pumpkins and colors on their cookies.
“Where did you get them?” my husband asked. .
“From God and Ella,” I answered with a smile that just wouldn’t leave my face.