Kindness can change the world…

I don’t often post about my fiancee aside from the annual mention in the my end of year wrap up. I always say how thankful I am to have him in my life, and always mention how my favorite part of every year is the fact that we have spent another year together. But every now and then I just feel like I need to give everyone a glimpse at some of the reasons I love the man I am going to marry.

I love him for many reasons, not the least of which is that he is the most patient person I know. I mean truly he has the patience of Job. I know that I am a pain in the ass, frustrating beyond words, impatient as can be, and have the quick temper o’ the Irish. But he handles it all like a champ; even when I am being completely insane and irrational. He just waits out the crazy. Because he is a saint.

One of the other biggest reasons is that he is kind hearted and compassionate.

Last week the Kansas City area received an unusually-late-for-the-season snow storm which dumped over a foot of snow in the area. Shoveling snow is not super fun so by the time the weekend rolled around we (read Brett) had only cleared out a small area on one side of the garage to get the truck in and out. But, when the snow plows came through they left a bank of snow at the end of the driveway blocking our way out. 

Typically, we (read Brett) would just gun it out of the garage and plow the truck through the bank, but on Saturday when we were getting ready to leave, Brett saw a man walking up our driveway. He got out of the truck and met him to see what was up.

The man told Brett that he was trying to make some money to help him get his family through to the next week and wanted to know if we would hire him to shovel our driveway. He said he didn’t need much. 

Brett asked if I had any cash on me, something neither of us regularly carry on us. I did have some cash and gave him what I had. Brett explained that we didn’t have the full amount of cash to help him out completely, but could we pay him what we did have on us to shovel out the snow bank at the end of the driveway.

The man said that he would do that, and then asked if we had a shovel he could borrow. Brett pulled one of the snow shovels we have out of the garage and handed it to him. As the man started to shovel and Brett started back to the truck, I heard him say to the man, ‘You know what, keep that shovel. I hope it helps you earn some more money today.’

My heart exploded with love at the kindness and compassion in Brett’s heart.

When he got back to the truck he sat in the driver’s seat and we sat there for a moment while he was shoveling the snow. I looked out the window and noticed that this poor man who was obviously down on his luck, asking to shovel our driveway and not even having a shovel, was not even wearing gloves. It was 30 degrees outside. And he was shoveling snow. I pointed this out to Brett who immediately went down to the basement and found a new pair of work gloves that he wasn’t using. He came back outside and gave the man the gloves as well.

I couldn’t see the entire exchange but I have the feeling that this man was very grateful for the kindness that was shown to him.

I cannot imagine the circumstances in this man’s life that led him to having to ask to borrow snow shovels to shovel people’s driveways, but I pray that he was able to earn the money he needed to take care of his family. I am thankful everyday that I have the life I do. That I have a nice home. Heat for the winter. Air conditioning for the summer. Food in the pantry and in the refrigerator. Reliable vehicles to take us to all of the extra things we like to do.

For I am well aware that to many our life seems extravagant. That there are too many people without a home. Warmth. Food.

I am proud of Brett everyday, but Saturday I was more proud than I thought my heart could handle. He could have so easily told this man that we did not have any cash on us and left it at that. But instead, he thought about what he could do rather than what he couldn’t. In the grand scheme of things, what is a few dollars, a shovel (that we weren’t using anyway) and a pair of gloves? To us – not much. But to this man, it very well could have been the difference between dinner for his family or not. Or money to pay the heating bill. Or gas to get a sick kid to the doctor. Or any other number of things.

A little bit of kindness goes a long way and I hope that man was able to make the rest of the money he needed. Even more though, I hope once he is doing better that he pays it forward and continues the kindness.

Knowing the kind of man I am going to marry makes me so proud to become his wife.

I know I say this often, but I truly believe it, kindness can change the world. I hope the man’s world was changed; I know my world was changed by it.

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