I Was Treated To a Random Act of Kindness


I have an overnight backpacking trip planned for December and another week long trip planned for March. I am super excited to be planning another trip however as you can imagine, both of my trips are during the winter months. The good news is that there will be absolutely no bugs. The bad news is the reason for no bugs; it will be cold. I knew I would need to invest in some winter gear so I decided to head to the local Army surplus store to check out the goods and find me some gloves and a nice fleece toboggan. I realized on my last trip in March I wished I had me some gloves. I will be prepared this time.

As I was looking around in the gloves, the owner of the store, a nice Asian man decided I needed some help. (I never need help. I’m a man.) He pulled some gloves out that were the right size and I asked how much they were. He stated they were $20. I wasn’t prepared to spend that much and told him I would need to come back. I saw a toboggan over to the side and I asked him how much and he said $5. I grabbed the toboggan and continued to look around like a visit to Walmart.

I saw some other gloves and was just rummaging when a soldier walked in looking for something I can’t even describe. He asked me if I needed gloves and I responded saying yes. He told me he had some he’d give me. I looked at him with shock and he said he knew it sounded weird some random guy giving me gloves but if I’d trust him, it would be cool. He paid for his things and he turned around to tell me to meet him at the storage units across the road. That’s when he noticed I had a toboggan in my hand. He told me I didn’t need that either. I looked at him confused as I tried to hand the store owner some cash. All I had was a twenty and the store owner acted like he didn’t have the change and again the soldier commented that I didn’t need it. I understood then exactly what he was saying.

I stuffed my twenty dollar bill back in my wallet and laid the toboggan down where I found it and began to walk out. The store owner kept asking me if I knew the guy and I finally turned around and said nope and walked out. We then drove across the road to his storage unit. He introduced himself as Will, and said that he was PCSing to New York to be  recruiter and that he didn’t need his gear. When he opened his unit, he found his gloves and a toboggan in a box and handed them to me. He then asked me if I played paintball and I said no. Now I’m kicking myself because he probably would have given me all of his paintball gear too. I stepped out and he locked the storage unit. We shook hands again and I asked him if I could do anything for him or repay him and he said nope as he got in his car and drove off.

He left me standing there in shock with a heart full of gratitude and speechless because I didn’t know how to act. As I drove home I was reminded of the scripture that says.

2 Corinthians 9:6-8
Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly,
and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart,
not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
And God is able to make all grace abound to you,
so that always having all sufficiency in everything,
you may have an abundance for every good deed.
 

Carrie (my wife) and I have always believed in giving. We have always taken the opportunity to give when we see someone in need. I believe because of this heart for giving, God finds opportunities to bless her and me. This is the God we serve. He notices when we give to others and in turn gives us more than we can contain. Whether that is things or emotions, God is big enough to give us more than we can contain and the overflow of those is reflectively amazing. This situation I just experienced is by far an overwhelming emotional experience and this is why I love and serve my God!

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About Kevin Riner
child of grace, worshiper of Jesus, husband, father, Pastor of Village Church, author of Faith Debugged

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