Recently, my lovely bride Amy, hurt her back. And this was not your normal, “Hey my back hurts,” kind of thing. She threw her back out and it locked up. For about a day, she was completely unable to be herself. Not only was this frustrating for her, but it was disconcerting for me as well. You see, Amy is a bit of a “Tonka Truck.” She is always moving, tough to hurt and hard to slow down.
It was tough to see her like that.
Though we did not tell a lot of people, we live in a small town, and word slowly got out. People heard that Amy had hurt her back (or some variation of that) and started to reach out. Some people called. Some people texted well wishes. One of our friends even insisted on bringing over dinner that night (it was delicious). And each time I got a message, my spirit was lifted. Someone out there not only cared, but wanted to see if they could help in some small way.
These small gestures of kindness matter. And THAT is the point of the story.
When you are going through a tough time, it is easy to feel frustrated and alone. And those simple gestures of care really matter. Sometimes people will take you up on your offer to help. Often they won’t. But that is not really the point. The point of the exercise is that those simple gestures are noticed and remembered.
I tell you this because I often struggle with it. When something happens I feel awkward and I don’t know what I will say. I think “Will they even notice” or if I am really trying to talk myself out of it I might tell myself “They have plenty of other stuff to deal with now.” Either way, I try to let myself off the hook for doing the right thing. I try to convince myself it doesn’t matter.
So the next time you have the chance to reach out (even in a small way) to try and lift someone up…take the chance.
P.S. Amy is doing better, slowly but surely! She hopes to be back to her “Tonka Truck” status in no time.
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