Kindness is Like Eating Chocolate Ice Cream with a Toddler

If you’ve ever eaten chocolate ice cream with a toddler, you know that you’ll both have as much on you as in you. Kindness works the same way. You can’t be kind to someone without being impacted as well.

I saw the most beautiful bouquet of lilies at Trader Joe’s recently. The petals were a pale champagne color on the outside. I could only glimpse the inside, a peachy pink hue reminiscent of a sunrise, as they were just starting to bloom. I have never seen ones with this coloring. I leaned in closer. They were exquisite. I put them in my cart and couldn’t wait to watch them bloom on my kitchen table.

A woman beside me said, “Oh, those are beautiful! Lilies are my favorite! I was looking for them too! ” I smiled and said, “There are still two more bunches.” She smiled back and eagerly picked them up but instantly put them back. “They’re not the same color. They’re just white outside and inside,” she explained.  “Oh,” I said as I continued toward the produce section. 

Then I sensed a little voice inside me say give those lilies to the woman. I ignored it and continued looking at the apples. The little voice grew a bit louder and more insistent. But I thought I like them as I put more distance between her and me, walking toward the berries. The little voice still didn’t go away. I looked back at the flower section. She was looking at a bouquet of hydrangeas with little enthusiasm. I returned to her, saying, ” I’d like you to have these. She looked surprised and said, “Oh no. that’s so kind, but I couldn’t.” I said, “It’s ok. I want you to have them. ” Tears started welling up in her eyes, and I thought, they’re just lilies. 

She continued softly, looking down, “Today is the anniversary of my father’s passing. I took the day off.” Her voice trailed off, then she looked up and said, “Your kindness means more than you know. It’s been so hard. Can I give you a hug?” As we hugged, she asked, “What made you return to give me the lilies?” I said, “This may sound crazy, but I sensed I should. I guess God connects us, and your dad probably had something to do with it, too.”  As tears filled both of our eyes, she hugged me again and whispered, “Thank you so much. My dad knew how much I love lilies.” I whispered back, “Thank you. “

She gave me so much more than those lilies. They would have been gone and forgotten in a week or so, but our interaction is one I will remember, especially the next time I feel alone or wonder whether God sees or hears me. God can use us anytime, anywhere, as a conduit of His love. A love that is beyond reason or measure and connects us all, even two strangers in a Trader Joe’s. Also, like the woman’s father, my parents and grandparents have passed, and I like to think they’re watching over me, and they, too, can still remind me of their love.  

You can’t be kind to someone without being impacted as well.

Shared by Patricia Wu

4 responses to “Kindness is Like Eating Chocolate Ice Cream with a Toddler”

  1. Wow…this blog brought tears to my eyes. We should never ignore the prompting of the Spirit. We can be kind anywhere…any time. Thank you Patricia.

  2. What a wonderful comparison you used. Your words and story are a prompt and a gift to all who read this. Thank you!

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