Saturday, July 20, 2013

Honoring a Kindness

    Sometimes when you least expect it, a stranger shows you a kindness that brings you great joy and reminds you of the power we all have to encourage each other.
    It was last year (July 2012) when just Vicki & I were at a reenactment in Lombard, IL. doing our Christian Commission thing.  The tent was set up and the food was out.  The lemonade was mixed.  It was a nice sized event for the two of us to handle, with a steady flow of reenactors coming and going under the tent.  We had a couple of additional volunteers helping out throughout the morning;  gracious young ladies that know us and our children, offering their help as they had time.
    All morning Vicki had been dealing with her snood letting her hair straggle down out of the holes that had been worn in it over the years of use.  Yes, she needed to get a new one, but just hadn't had time to try and find one.  I remember picking on her about her looking a bit bedraggled.  And she would joke back about it, stuff her hair back in, and a little bit later, it would be dangling back out of the holes that had gotten too big in her favorite black snood. 
    I was busy toward the front of the tent fly, talking to spectators and inviting the soldiers to "come on in and help yourself", explaining the variety of tasty delights that Vicki had prepared.  She was busy working to replenish the food trays.  As she was moving around, she stumbled and fell.  As she got back up, we all realized that she was holding a large knife that hadn't hurt her.  One woman watching all this unfold said "you must have an angle watching over you."  Vicki brushed off the straw, got back to work filling the food trays.
    The fall was quickly forgotten, and we returned to serving the troops.  The day went well, we packed up and went home.  "Yep, someday" Vicki said she'd get around to "looking for a new snood".
    A few weeks later, Vicki got a phone call from a woman caller wanting to confirm she had reached the people who do the US Christian Commission.  The woman explained she was under the tent and saw Vicki fall and not get hurt by the knife.  She had also noticed Vicki's struggle with the hair snood.  She had bought a handmade snood and was mailing it as an encouragement and thank you to Vicki.
    We reenact the US Christian Commission to be an encouragement to others.  But over the years, the Lord has brought along others to encourage us with an unexpected surprising acts of kindness.  Helping our ladies carry the water pots back to the tent.  Help setting up or taking down the tent.  Helping us locate in a high traffic area so we can reach the most troops at the event.  The gift of the quilt we use on the gift table.  A few of the enamel pots we use for lemonade and tea have been donated to us by individuals who saw us using the ones we had to encourage the troops and wanted to add to our tools.  To all those unnamed and often unknown fellow travelers "May God see your kindness and bless you too".