Tuesday, August 2, 2011

You Just Never Know

Like I said, I just got back from five days at LoMIA, our Church-run girls' camp.  I love going there, and I mean love it.  Love everything about every second of it. 

Sunday night we had a meeting with all the girls from our group and their leaders.  This night is reserved for the girls to talk about anything they learned while there--our Church calls it a testimony meeting.  Most of the girls stood up and talked about one or two ways that their faith had been strengthened through the week's activities, while others chose to remain in acceptable silence.

I won't ever forget this meeting.

A young woman that I have known since moving to my neighborhood in 2000 stood to speak.  She spoke quietly and began her turn with, "I'm sure you won't even remember this, but two years ago . . . " then proceeded to recount when I and another woman had brought her home from camp late one night in 2009.  We had thought she was asleep, and we had talked the entire two-hour drive home.  Halfway through the drive, my friend suggested that I cover up this beautiful young lady with a jacket, since she might be cool with the A/C blowing on her.  I did, and then promptly forgot.

Somehow, this small act of kindness had been a gesture she had been starving for.  Her home life gets a little rocky, through nothing she can control, and she told us that this was such a gentle, motherly display that it had answered a deep need in her.  I was struck by a few things:  1.  I hadn't done anything special or out of the ordinary, yet I had made a strong impression on her.  2.  I didn't even know I had affected her life in such a way that she would remember it for two years.

This set me to thinking.  How often do we touch each others' lives through small, seemingly insignificant kindnesses and not even know we've made a difference?  And on the flip side, how often do our small unkind actions or words scar for life?  I hate to consider that second question, knowing how many times that must be.

You just never know when you will be that person.

I'm trying to be more aware of how and when I can be that positive, life-changing person, and be that person as often as possible.
My challenge to you:  Try to be that person. And if someone has done this for you, let them know--a quick phone call, email, letter would be so unexpectedly wonderful. We could change the world, one small act at a time. And we may never even know it.


  1. If we all lived with those thoughts in mind we'd live in a kinder and more generous world.

  2. It is always surprising the little things that mean so much to others.
    Great story! And sometimes it's nice to know how you have touched someone else :-D

  3. What an inspiration that small thought was. Thank you!

  4. I've been a Cabin Mom at Camp LoMia too! Beautiful Girls' Camp in AZ.
    Enjoyed the reminder that no act of kindness is ever wasted. Thanks!

  5. Wow! So cool that you were able to find that out! What a sweet girl. It is true...the little things do matter.

  6. A beautiful and inspiring post, Jen. It really makes me think. What a great feeling to know you touched that girl in such a lasting way, without even realizing it.

    I love camp, too, but it's been an awfully long time since I went because I have to stay out of the sun these days.

    Sometimes I do go up for the skits, though!