It was a truly lousy day at the Osman house. Every member of the family was at a different stage of whatever bug had infested itself in their respiratory tracts. After a long day of sniffling and whining, bedtime had finally arrived.
Just as Mom and Dad were tucking the little ones into bed, the doorbell rang. Dad ran to answer it but was perplexed to find no one standing there. About to go back inside, he glanced down to find a Get Well Basket left on the porch. Amazed, he carried it back upstairs where the tucking-in was in process.
Mom and Dad searched the gift in earnest for a card, but found no clue as to the giver’s identity. The gift was bestowed by some anonymous friend who knew of their difficulty. That gift overhauled the entire day as the family basked in the outrageous kindness of the unknown giver.
This benefactor created a whole series of impacts beyond the joy of simply providing some sweet small gifts. He or she gave something bigger than could ever fit in a basket. The message of this gift to the children was that they were cared for by people beyond their family. They realized that they are part of a kind community of people, gaining the very real sense that we all belong to each other.
And this basket’s message to the parents was that they’re not alone in caring for their children. The gift giver conveyed to them, “I see you. I see this is a hard time, and I care about that.” The joy they both felt at this realization lifted them right out of that stressful day.
This experience has awakened the family’s desire to pay the kindness forward, repeating this loving action to others who may be experiencing a hard time. They recognize the joy of doing good works in secret with no expectation of reward or recognition, and are now scheming who will be the next recipient of such a caring gesture.
The story of the Good Samaritan teaches about the need for kindness to the man who lay wounded in the road. But I’m rethinking that story now from the perspective of the satisfaction which may have been experienced by the Good Samaritan himself.