I know, I know – Christmas is three months away but this story isn’t really about Christmas. It’s about an act of kindness that I will never forget as long as I live.
Let me take you back to Christmas Eve 1993. I was the single parent of a beautiful one-month-old daughter who just happened to be colicky and not sleeping well at night. Obviously I hadn’t been sleeping well either.
When I tried to lay her down for the umpteenth time that night, she began crying again. I was tired and needed a break.
So I walked out of her room, grabbed my journal and pen and slipped out my apartment door.
I sat on the stairs in the hallway and opened my journal. I began to write while my baby cried.
I asked God – no – I begged him to let my baby and me sleep. My tears fell on the page and smudged my words.
What was I going to do? I was struggling financially and was worried about how I would pay the rent and buy supplies.
I felt like a failure. I felt incompetent and foolish. But worse yet, I was too proud to ask for help. Our situation was hopeless.
I had this little person to take care of and I wasn’t doing a very good job. What kind of mother was I?
I couldn’t remember a time when I felt more desperate and afraid.
About twenty minutes had passed and my little girl was still crying ,so I dried my eyes and slipped back into our apartment.
I picked up my baby and rocked her.
Eventually she fell asleep and I plopped down beside her in my bed and fell asleep.
When I woke up it was 8:00 am – we had slept almost eight hours!
I tip-toed out of my room, leaving my girl asleep on the bed and poured myself a coffee.
“Check your mailbox,” said this voice in my head.
Maybe I should I thought, perhaps my parents sent a card with money in it. (They often did this when I needed money the most – it really was quite remarkable – as if they knew).
But no, I reasoned with myself; it’s Christmas Day, there won’t be any mail.
But the nagging voice wouldn’t stop so I grabbed my key and went out into the hallway, down the stairs, to the mailbox.
There are only two people who can unlock it – me and the Mailman.
I took a deep breath and opened the mailbox.
Inside, I saw a white bulging envelope.
At first I just stared at it, not believing it was actually there.
I reached in and took it out.
Written on the outside of the envelope was: Merry Christmas Diana and Michaela.
Nothing else, no address, no stamp.
I locked the mailbox and ran up the stairs back to my apartment. Once inside, I sat down and opened it.
There was a Christmas card inside and about $400.
Tears streamed down my face as I began to read the card. It said something like:
Dear Diana, I know you’re scared. I know that you feel like you’re alone. But believe me when I tell you – you are not alone. And I want you to know that everything is going to be okay.
Merry Christmas to you and Michaela
I love you, Jesus
Friends, I don’t know who sent this card.
I don’t know how, or if they bribed the mailman.
But their kindness and the love that motivated them to reach out to me was nothing less than a miracle.
Do you have a story about how someone touched your life with kindness?
Or a story where you made a world of difference for someone else?