Friday, February 17, 2012

The Unknown Person, a Perfect Stranger

Through an unexpected loss, my family and I have received so much kindness this week.  To everyone who left a comment in the event of Bear's passing, thank you.  You are appreciated and loved!

Today is Random Acts of Kindness day, which has become one of my favorite days of the year.  Since the experience of discovering my Ben's Bell, the idea of kindness shared between strangers has sparked an awakening about the true meaning of life.  We are here to share love and to be kind to one another, not only on a special day like today, but everyday.

For many years of my life, I was so focused on my own family and friends that I never considered the powerful affect of reaching out to the unknown person.  But because someone reached out to the unknown me, I have discovered a new source of energy.  The idea of kindness shared with perfect strangers makes me happier on a daily basis. Now I recognize opportunities where a small action on my part would make a positive impact.  I used to feel guilty when I'd sit in the pew at church and have less than a dollar to put in the basket.  I was embarrassed because my wallet is continually empty.  I used to kick myself on the inside and critically ask why I never have anything to give.  The guilt would eat at my insides and cause me to avoid worship altogether. 

But this year, I've found a storehouse of valuable gifts that keeps magically replenishing itself. I'm rich in kindness!  Filthy rich!  There's enough to go around to every person I meet, and enough to feed the perfect strangers I'll never know.

Have you ever wondered why the word perfect goes in front of the word stranger?

Strangers are perfect!  We haven't had the experience of living and working with them.  We don't know their bad habits or their religious or political viewpoints.  We can't compare ourselves to what we don't know, and so we don't feel insignificant or intimidated in their presence.  We don't know if they are a doctor or a teacher or a homeless traveler.  It doesn't matter what they do for a living or if they are socially connected.

God asks us to love one another as He loves us.  I think He means to love one another like perfect strangers.  Because in a way, God is a perfect stranger.  Sure, there have been lots of things written about Him, but unless you are a saint or are already dead, then technically, He's unknown to you in a face to face meeting kind of way.  You may experience His love every day, but it's like the gift sent from an unknown source.

When we start thinking about the unknown person who is a perfect stranger, we realize that there's no such thing as a void.

There's always another one beyond the first.

I hope you find your perfect stranger today, and that they find you too!

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