Simple Acts of Kindness Tell a Bigger Story

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“In all this I have given you an example that by such work we must support the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, for he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”


– Acts [20:35]


After Hurricane Florence which created havoc around my community in coastal Carolina, our local thrift store that supports hospice care was turned into a depository for goods to help those who had lost everything. In the past, Connie and I had dropped off items to help them. The people who took the items were pleasant and engaging. The store was orderly and cheery.

On this day soon after the storm, we decided to donate more. As I drove into the parking lot, I noticed a large amount of people looking for goods. Far more people than usual  that day. I drove to the back, where goods are dropped off and to the two women who handle the intake of clothes, furniture and other household items. They looked haggard and tired. They had been working around the clock.

Despite their weariness they helped unload my pick-up truck loaded with items. After, I stopped to talk and thank them for volunteering. I mentioned the crowds and asked were they getting enough donations to help solve the need of these people. They replied, “We are receiving more items than that what is being taken. Our back warehouse is jammed!”

As I reflected on this later in the day, it finally hit me what these two wonderful women had just told me. More gave then took! What did it mean? It was symbolic of a belief I have long held, that despite the news stories of violence, scams and calamity; goodness abounds. We don’t see it because It just isn’t news worthy. These two women will never be on the news or radio. In their place will be stories about the worse side of humanity. Good news and  good people don’t sell ads.

But here it was in front of me that day with empirical proof. Good far outweighs evil. Humankind is far more generous than credited. Humankind knows what Jesus said, , ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ In my heart I have always known this, but never before had I received such concrete proof.

In the quiet people, like these two women,  they give because it is their desire to help. Not looking for praise, just to help. They are motivated by the purest of all intent’s, an empathetic heart. But they are not the only ones, it is also the people who silently drove in to help their neighbors. These people wouldn’t raise gas prices when it was scarce or charge higher hotel prices when the displaced grew in numbers. They give and care. You won’t see these people on the nightly news, but they exist in large volumes in our neighborhoods and across the country. They are the real definition of humankind. They are God’s people.

Blessings, until next time,
Bruce L. Hartman

Photo by Josh Edgoose