Acts of Kindness

Kindness Update — God’s Loving Kindness!

 
With new pandemic guidelines and warnings from the CDC, our Thanksgiving 2020 plans give pause for careful thought and consideration. The important task is figuring out how to stay safe in your particular situation and how to manage feelings about skipping annual family Thanksgiving traditions. The key is to be smart and be aware of the risk in your particular area.
 
With talk of pandemic lockdowns, it is encouraging to know that we will never experience a “kindness lockdown”! Kindness is, after all, the great motivator that keeps us all going because it is deeply rooted in our faith and makes us grateful. There are no more beautiful words than those of the song below. It says everything we need to say about Thanksgiving.
 
“Give Thanks” by Don Moen
Give thanks with a grateful heart; give thanks to the Holy One,
Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son!
And now, let the weak say “I am strong”, let the poor say “I am rich
because of what the Lord has done for us!”
Give Thanks!
 
Have you seen God today? If you see God at work this week, there are two ways you can share what you saw!
1) Be a blessing to others by sharing your Act of Kindness (no names please) below. Then check back each week to learn how others are passing on acts of kindness.
2) There is a Kindness box in the library on the window sill, along with paper and pencil. Share your God-Wink, perhaps someone else will be inspired!
 
Responses submitted will be shared here on our website and in our weekly email newsletter the “BLAST”.

 Previous Submissions

In the Food Lion parking lot this past week, I was approached by an elderly man who asked if I could spare $2 so he could purchase some kerosene. I gave him the $2 and he went on his way. Afterwards, it dawned on me, “I need a Blessing Bag in my car!” I will be prepared the next time someone approaches me for help!
 
The McCormick Messenger staff reported a couple of kindnesses shown to them recently: The McCormick Garden Club kindly donated one of their beautiful Christmas wreaths to the office. They also received special remembrances on World Kindness Day on November 13.
 
Traveling to Greenwood last week, a long log fell off a logging truck in front of me. The log landed sideways in the road in front of my vehicle. I applied the brake but was unable to completely stop, thus my vehicle rolled over the log. Apparently unaware of what had happened, the logging truck kept going. I pulled over to try to roll the log over to the side of the road so that other vehicles would not have to encounter it. A kind young man stopped to help and another motorist stopped to see if any help was needed. I thanked them for their kindness, and I really thanked God for His kindness in sending a guardian angel that kept me safe from harm!
 
A nearby neighbor who we rarely see and don’t know very well called just to say hello and ask how we were doing – she also added she would be praying for us. Her act of kindness touched my heart and prompted me to begin praying for my neighbors, even those I don’t know very well!
 
A kind thought on smiles! I have become fascinated with people who can smile with their eyes even with a mask on. Now I learn a “Duchenne” smile – unlike a “mouth smile” – is one that uses the muscles in the cheeks to lift them and create the lovely smile wrinkles around the eyes! How ’bout that!
 
I stopped at a gas station and was waiting in line to pay for a bottle of water. The man in front of me, told the clerk to include my water in his bill! When I thanked him, he said to remember to pass it on!
 
I was outside of Food Lion collecting for the McCormick Lion’s Club Christmas Basket project. A woman, with two children with her, came up and told me that her family got a gift card from Lion’s Club last year and she appreciated it since her and her husband were laid off last November. She said they have found jobs and wanted to help another family. She put ten dollars in the cane for others!
 
The McCormick Messenger staff report a kindness paid by a community resident who had a tree to fall on his house and neighbors and friends came to help remove the tree. The grateful man made a contribution to the faith community in honor of those who helped in his time of great need.
 
While shopping on Friday, I overheard two men talking several aisles over. One of them sounded troubled and expressed some concerns on his heart. The next thing I knew, I heard the other man ask him if it would be ok if he prayed with him. The man agreed, and the two of them stood hand in hand in a beautiful prayer. I thought how pleasing that gesture must be to our Lord and how much we could use more of that these days!
 
Several years ago, a house guest removed the sheets from his bed so that I had them ready for the washer. I thought it was such a kind gesture that I now always do the same. I do ask what the hostess would like done with the sheets because sometimes she prefers to strip the bed at a later date.
 
Out of the goodness of her heart, one of our crafty ladies at McCormick UMC is sewing Halloween masks for the young people in the Youth Sunday School Class! What a kind gesture that sets a beautiful example for the youth!
 
Pastor Nels’ recent sermon on the parable of the vineyard in Matthew 21 made me think about the “tenants” of God’s vineyard who came before me – specifically my parents and grandparents and how much harder they had to work than we do today to keep the family going. Things like cutting and gathering firewood, growing and harvesting food required much time and effort, and that’s just two jobs! You would think they didn’t have much time for kindness toward one another back then, but our hearts can remember plenty of that as well! Not ones to let any items go to waste that could be recycled, my grandmother, mother, and aunts made the most beautiful dresses, aprons, and pillowcases from beautifully flowered sacks that flour came in and often trimmed them with what they called “tatting”. These items were original and one of a kind and products of going the extra mile – a reminder to me that “Kindness is truly homemade”! I still have one of the beautiful pillowcases today!
 
From Jennie Brantley, JAG Coordinator at McCormick High School: My students are working on a special kindness project. We will be letting our McCormick UMC friends know about it soon, so be on the lookout!
 
We appreciate this kind update from our friends at McCormick High School: The fall athletic season is off to a great start. The students are slowly making the adjustments to the new norms in our school district.
 
My neighbors and a friend came to my husband’s aid when he had a medical incident while I was in Maryland and stayed with my dog until his brother could get here to take over. God bless them all and the First Responders and EMT that stepped up until I and my daughter could get home. Then his brother drove my daughter home to Maryland Monday. If all of this is not kindness, nothing is.
 
Friends of ours traveled to the North Carolina mountains this past week and stopped by our home to share with us some of the fresh produce they purchased, including mountain apples. Their kindness was such a blessing to us!
 
I’d like to give a shout out to the kind folks who are contributing to the ministries at McCormick UMC by choosing to sign up for Amazon Smile!
 
Coming out of the grocery store the other day during a heavy downpour of rain, I noticed a young girl coming toward the store with an umbrella over her head. As I drove out of the parking lot, I had to stop and wait for that same young girl to cross my path while holding her umbrella over the head of this elderly, handicapped lady as she approached her car and opened her car door. The kindness of that young girl touched my heart!
 
I read the message on the church sign on the front lawn today. It said “Plant Kindness — Gather Love”. Just imagine the possibilities of this message spreading as it is read by passers-by on busy Highway 378!
A kind neighbor provided transportation to the hospital for my surgery when no room was available on the Senior Center Bus and also to see unplanned additional doctor.
 
As we continue struggling with the pandemic, it’s good to see kind, subtle reminders of who is in charge. Waiting at the dentist’s office, I noticed that all of the magazines were taken off the racks to prevent the potential for spread of germs. There were only three items placed on a table against the wall: a kind message of gratitude to patients, a bottle of hand sanitizer, and the Holy Bible! Through my tear-filled eyes, I realized the neat ways that God communicates with us especially during difficult times!
 
I was out to lunch with a friend a few weeks ago and excused myself to use the restroom. When I returned she was at the counter buying someone their lunch.
 
My husband and I were out to dinner with a friend one evening and a police officer came in for a bite to eat. Our friend purchased his meal.
 
When a mentally challenged friend told me she would send me the money I loaned her for groceries as I drove her back home from the store, I knew she was a person of great integrity and honesty and that she would reimburse the money. What I did not expect was for her to place the reimbursement of a little over $100 in the mail in currency and coins! I received in the mail a thin, very lightly sealed envelope that contained the cash!!!! My friend’s innocent trust of the U.S. Mail to deliver the envelope carefully and promptly made me face the fact that I am sometimes critical of the postal service. I also was thankful for the kind postal worker who expedited the envelope properly and quickly.
 
A friend of my daughter tells the story of travelling on interstate at night from Florida to South Carolina with her four very young sons. When she made a stop for gas, she noticed the semi that had been behind her had also turned in. The truck driver told her he couldn’t help but notice her situation and that he had been following her to be sure she was safe. He continued to do so until she reached her exit in South Carolina!
 
We are away a good bit. When we are gone, our neighbor, who is a disabled veteran, makes sure that our trash bin is brought out to the road and then replaces it to the driveway after the trash has been picked up.
 
I have a long steep driveway and bad knee and hip so I have a difficult time getting my trash can up the drive. My neighbor takes it up for me each week. Last week someone surprised me and brought it back down after trash pick-up.
 
As is traditional in the summer, our kids and grandkids come to visit. We love to have them visit, but we find ourselves exhausted with the prep of snacks and meals. But, not this year! They let us know they would do the planning and cooking! They have been in their homes so long they appreciated getting out and enjoying the lake and someone else to talk and play with! They made all the meals.. and the real joy.. they picked up too!!
 
I consider it a kindness to me when a friend who is unable to drive calls and asks me to give her a ride, especially when I had previously asked her to let me know if I could ever help her in any way.
 
Jesus has been at the Food Lion parking lot! Going into the store, I saw one of His calling cards on the pavement behind some parked cars – when I came out of the store, the cars were gone, but the card was still there, so I picked it up. On it were the words of John 3:16 and “I LOVE YOU! – Jesus”. I remember someone else reported on the Kindness link that they found one of His cards on their car while parked downtown. It’s good to know He is still in town!!!
 
I read about a family out to dinner with a special needs child. The kid was acting up and the waitress brought over a note that said “God only gives special children to special people” from a mystery guest who paid for the family’s meal.
 
I was walking toward Sam’s entrance when a man told me there were no carts in there. He said, “Take mine, I will wipe it down for you” and he pulled out a few wipes and cleaned the cart for me! I smiled the whole time I was shopping!
 
It’s heart- warming when small children give us a lesson in kindness – like a toddler who, when asked by an elderly gentleman to share his lollipop, held it out to give to him – quite a sacrifice for one so young!
 
I fell down the steps at the mall the other day. I landed on the floor right in front of the store I was going to only to find the chain mesh door was down and the only entry was to go outside the mall. That was the first thing I saw at eye level – the next thing I saw was a very young couple looking at me with kind, questioning eyes and asking “are you ok?” and “can we come around to help you?”. Fortunately, I was ok and able to get up on my own. There being no other stores in that section that were open, there was no one else to observe my blunder (maybe a good thing for me!) – however, in the event I had been hurt, I was even more aware of the blessing of those two kind persons who offered to help me! I saw God today!
 
It was pouring rain when we left the Five Below store in Evans. The kind store clerk held his umbrella over me and my Mom as we left the store and got into our vehicle.
 
My girlfriend was down and out. When I went to the store to get groceries, I purchased some of her favorite beverages and dropped them by to her to cheer her up. She later told me they worked!
 
In a very small (7 people) socially distanced setting of strangers, it was noticeable that one couple was very withdrawn and quiet. Leaving, I looked their way and told them to have a nice day to which they smiled and responded, “You, too!”. Whether their silence was just plain shyness, fear of saying the wrong thing, or strong determination to be anti-social, it was nice to hear their positive response!
 
I’d like to give a shout-out of gratitude to McCormick UMC’s “Garden Angels” who keep the courtyard looking so beautiful – the kindness of their hands keeps us mindful of Nature’s Beauty – a true gift from God!
 
I recently bought a play doh set for my grandchildren at the Family Dollar across from the Food Lion. The cashier said, “Wait I can get you a much bigger one which is on sale for only 5 dollars.” She proceeded to go find it for me. She was so nice and went out of her way for me.
 
Those who are regular Facebook subscribers who kindly take the time to share messages of interest with those of us who are not deserve recognition for their kindness – recently learned of the terminal illness of a dear friend who has moved away from such a kind friend!
 
Be on the lookout for Jesus on the streets of McCormick! While my car was parked on Main Street, He left a light blue calling card there with the words of John 3:16 on it and said “I Love You!” – Jesus!
 
Walked into Food Lion and the woman in front of me disinfected a cart and passed it to me saying, “Do this for the next person and enjoy her smile!”
 
My brother came for a short visit, and like an answer to prayer, quietly went downstairs and spent a day cleaning the workshop and finding a home for all the tools which had sat untouched since my husband moved to his heavenly home. An unexpected kindness and special blessing.
 
I thank the special, kind angel who takes time each week to collect and assemble these acts of kindness for us all to enjoy! Amen? Amen!
 
I recently helped a vendor at the McCormick Farmers’ Market take her tent down when a storm came up.
 
I saw God the other day in a hospital elevator. He was a little Hispanic boy with his family who smiled at me and replied “Yes, m’am” when I asked if they were going to the same floor. I quickly responded about what nice manners he had; he smiled again. I then looked at his parents and sisters and told them what a beautiful family they were – then we all smiled! Simple acts – beautiful results!
 
Happy Father’s Day greetings take on a very special meaning when they come from the pure and kind heart of a mentally challenged young man who takes the time to make personal phone calls to every father on his list of friends!
 
I had been praying for God to show me how I can help someone. While leaving Food Lion I saw a very feeble old black man with a cane trying to climb up the embankment to the parking lot and kept falling back down. I turned around and helped him get up that hill. He was so appreciative and I was so blessed.
 
In a parking lot today, a handicapped lady was having difficulty holding onto her shopping cart while using her cane with one hand for balance and, with the other hand, trying to remove a large bottle of substance from her cart. When I asked if I could help, she said “oh, I would appreciate it”. She looked at me and asked, “Where’s your mask?”. I told her it was in my pocket – I had worn it but it began to smother me in the store so I had removed it. She of course was wearing a mask. As I moved her shopping cart to store it, she reached into her car where she had a bag of masks that she had made and handed me one that was designed to allow more room for your nose – just what I needed! Her kindness and thoughtfulness of others really made an impression on me!
 
Someone left masks in my mailbox with a note that said, “We appreciate all you do for us. We pray you stay safe and healthy!”
 
An angel in our community has been donating fabric, elastic, twist ties for nose pieces and more, for all of us who have been making face masks. If we needed anything, she would find it on line or wherever and bring it to us. She wouldn’t let us pay for anything. She went even further. When she dropped these items off, she would include, hand soap, sanitizer, wipes, biscottis and other snacks to sustain us. She has been doing this for over 2 months and continues to do this. She is a true blessing to our community.
 
I have an 82 year old friend who visits her “older” friends every night in her golf cart to give them socialization and checks on their health. Such a blessing.
 
The staff at The McCormick Messenger have continued to be the recipients of Acts of Kindness from friends. Recently, someone purchased paper towels, a precious commodity during this pandemic, and brought them by the office.
 
I experienced a restaurant waitress sharing her faith with a customer who is caregiver for her aging Mom who has dementia. The waitress kindly shared her similar experience and she encouraged the customer by telling her that God is with her and will help her get through her struggles.
 
In speaking with a family member recently, I was surprised to hear her say that her next-door neighbor had come over and mowed her yard which took several hours – this was the same neighbor who previously she often spoke of with words that were not so endearing.. It felt good to realize the pandemic has affected both of their hearts in a positive way!
 
A group of our “church ladies” are putting together bags filled with articles of necessity for some less fortunate friends. Two other ladies from the church have agreed to make and donate 18 face masks, and a donor who has a large commercial cleaning business has contributed bottles of hand sanitizer, Lysol spray, toilet paper, and paper towels! May God richly bless these friends for their unselfish and generous acts of kindness to this project!
 
I was leaving the grocery store struggling with 3 heavy bags of groceries. All of a sudden a woman appeared beside me and said, “Let me help you with those”. She took a bag and opened my car door for me. I feel sure she had a wonderful smile, but I couldn’t tell because of her mask.
 
I would like to call attention to the actions of those persons who organized and participated in drive by parades to honor students whose school year studies and activities were interrupted for the year and the residents of assisted living facilities and nursing homes with most compromised health circumstances who have been cut off from family and friends. They should not go unnoticed as we seek beautiful acts of kindness!
 
The McCormick Messenger had a kind person drop doughnuts by the office several times for staff to enjoy during Pay It Forward Week!
 
My Mother’s Day was blessed to receive a Mother’s Day greeting by phone from a friend whose Mother has been deceased for a number of years – one would think it should be I who called my friend who lives alone but instead I received a blessing by his beautiful Act of Kindness!
 
I mentioned to a friend that the store was out of popcorn. Guess what showed up in my mailbox the next day! It sure made me feel that I wanted to ‘pay it forward”. So I called a friend who is quarantined and asked if she needed groceries… she did!
 
Our Pay It Forward Day began with a telephone call from one of our nice neighbors letting us know he and his wife are enjoying seeing our Faith Over Fear cross in our front yard. He also let us know they have an early Greek Christian sign of the fish in their front yard, so we are going to be sure to check it out!
 
I anonymously remembered an old friend in a special way on Pay It Forward Day as that day – April 28 – was also her birthday!
Community and neighbors checking up on those around them and performing small acts of kindness for them whether asked or by discerning a need.
 
Sacrificial act of kindness — a granddaughter in Florida sent her grandmother in SC – by special delivery mail – a 12 count big roll package of Angel Soft toilet tissue because she knew her grandmother had found only empty shelves for over 4 weeks and was nearly out.
 
I received a message from a cousin that when she read her Upper Room devotional she thought of me and said a prayer for me. The fact that she did that was an act of kindness in itself, but her message to let me know it made it even more special to me! She also sang praises for the committee at her church who delivers the Upper Room to her home – another acknowledged act of kindness!
 
Visited a friend of mine today who doesn’t have much time left. This will probably be the last time we get to visit. We had such a great time talking old memories. We both felt blessed. I’m so glad I visited. We sat far apart on a porch and sent a virtual hug. It’s hard seeing those that are suffering or dying but worth it for you and that person.
 

I made phone calls to a couple of mentally challenged ladies who live alone to be sure they were ok during our current pandemic. My faith was strengthened to realize how strong their faiths are!

At the post office this morning, a kind stranger opened the door for me. When I thanked him, he replied “Remember God loves you and He is with you”. I responded with an “Amen”! His message sounds like a good one to “pay forward” to others on Pay It Forward Day or on any and every day!
 
I had been given a baby afghan blanket to “finish” by a widower who found it in his departed wife’s projects. He wanted to give it to a relative who was about to give birth. It didn’t really need much work … except to redo the ‘casting off’ row which was too tight. That was a task beyond me (VERY small needles needed!) but I called a friend who knits. She said — bring it to me and I will redo it for you! She did … and sewed the “Made by …” tag on it too. Now the afghan is done and the widower can give it to that family member as a special gift from his departed wife. Such a kind thing she did for me. Thank you, God, for friends with talented, willing hands.
 
It was shared with me by a friend today that once a week she and her husband order dinner from a different place to help out the small businesses. What a great idea. If we all do that we can make a difference.
 
After shopping for my groceries and going through the checkout line, a young man in uniform directed me to get in front of him. I thanked him kindly. When I began to pay, this same kind young man, told the cashier to put my total on his check. How thankful I was that kindness still prevails in this world!
 
At the Burger King drive-thru today, I was informed that the person in the vehicle in front of me had paid for my meal! So, I paid it forward by paying for the meal of the person in the vehicle behind me! I would like to think this chain might have continued since the line was wrapped around the building, but regardless of that, my heart sure was warmed by the act of kindness of the person in front of me!
 
Checking out at the food store, I encountered the teenaged clerk that I prayed with at her request a few days before. She indicated her evening had gone well following our prayer – Praise God, and may He continue to bless that young lady!
 
Today I went to a lady’s house to get a mask of which she’d made hundreds. She also gave me a small bouquet of tulips. She must have known I needed an extra boost. Now there’s a lady who addresses the bigger needs as well as small kindnesses.
 
A little nine year old boy wanted to help out during this bad time. He sold his comic book collection for some money. He donated his $9.00 to a local hospital. I think we’ll see many acts of kindness and generosity during this young man’s life.
 
I found out a neighbor had no hand sanitizers, gloves, or masks, and having spent the day cleaning out my bathroom closet I shared my “treasures” I had found.
 
Checking out at a food store the other day, I had an unusual occurrence. The teen-aged clerk asked me if I pray. When I told her “yes”, she asked if I would pray with her, so we prayed softly and briefly for her to have strength to deal with whatever was troubling her. She thanked me, and I left with my groceries. How beautiful to see God at work in the lives of young people!
 
It’s beautiful to see all the acts of kindness going around during this desperate time. Teachers reaching out to help students at home; people calling and sending cards to shut ins and asking if they need anything; I could go on and on.
 
On March 20 and 21, my daughter and grandchildren joined their neighbors who were looking for something to do that’s safe and gets them out of the house during this time of pandemic restrictions. They went outside and wrote uplifting messages and drawings on their sidewalks with colorful sidewalk chalk. Later they took a walk to see what their other neighbors had created on the sidewalk! It is hoped that others will become Chalkers, spread some kindness, and Chalk their Walks!
 
I have been so touched by those giving me a call saying they have to go into town and do I need anything. I have to go into town on Monday and have called others to see what they may need.
 
In the check-out line at the store, I overheard a customer compliment the clerk as she was checking out on how well stocked the store was.
 
I observed a young child holding the door open for her mother as they were leaving the store, then she held the door open for me!
 
I saw a chain reaction of kindness in my neighborhood when I observed a man who cut the lawn of his neighbor (a disabled veteran). While he was doing that, another of his neighbors came over and edged his yard!
 
Some years ago I started a practice of not re-claiming my quarter at Aldi’s when I return my shopping cart – I simply put the cart back into the stall behind the other carts, ready for the next shopper to pull out for use without having to insert a coin. In a hurry the other day, and without a quarter, I found the next available cart had been left ready to use with no coin insert needed! I hope that my very tiny gesture might have made someone else’s day the way someone else’s did mine that day!
 
I observed the generosity and kindness of a man who gave a $40 tip to a waitress who went out of her way to show extra special kindness to a special needs customer.
 
I had someone tell me recently that something I said to her years ago changed the way she looked at and lived her life. You never know what small thing you say or do can make such a difference.
 
Saw a woman struggling with the pumps at the “new” gas station and a teenager driving by on a bike stopped to help her…..
 
McCormick Girl Scouts want to thank the ladies of MUMC for a fun meeting mixing, rolling and cutting out dog biscuits – the Scouts will spread the kindness when they deliver the treats to the Humane Society….
 
Taking a friend that is ill to lunch….
 
Took my hairdresser a casserole so she wouldn’t have to cook when she got home….
 
A very special lady purchased dinner for the McCormick Men’s Basketball Team at Texas Roadhouse…