Monday, September 5, 2011

Random Acts of Kindness

I struggled a bit with whether or not to post this, but for those who prayed with me, I wanted you to share in joy of God’s answered prayers….

A couple of weeks ago I put this post out on Facebook:

Planning a major random act of kindness tomorrow morning. Pray with me that God will give us courage and help us find the two special people we are supposed to bless!
The group of us attending the Women of Faith Conference Friday and 12 other online prayer warriors prayed that morning and those prayers were heard and answered in such an amazing way.

You see a year before, my mother and I had purchased a block of tickets for the Woman of Faith Conference in hopes of getting a group of ladies to go with us. Neither of us are woman of great means but we both agreed that if there were any tickets that went unspoken for, we would pray for God to help us find people to give the remaining tickets to.

The morning of the conference, we still had two tickets left so we all began to pray for God to help us find the two people who really needed to hear the message being brought that weekend but didn’t have the means to buys tickets.

We knew this was going to be a bit of a stretch. Anyone milling around in front of the Verizon Center probably already had tickets and if they didn’t, they came prepared to buy them. Standing out by the ticket lines, there were lots of people who had extra tickets who were stalking people in the ticket lines and selling their left over tickets for a fraction of the price (and I’m sure I could have done that too) but that’s not what I felt we were being led to do… so the prayers continued.

With just 10 minutes to go, the rest of our gang already inside and mom and I getting ready to give up, God did one of his miracle things and our 1st recipient was revealed.

Standing about 30 feet away from the now emptied out ticketing area was a frail, five-foot nothing woman who was easily in her 70’s. She was wearing a shirt and pants that looked like she’d been wearing them for a several days unwashed and on her back was a backpack that may have contained all she owned. She had an odd straw hat strung around her neck and had freshly applied bright red lipstick that looked quite out of place with no other makeup on and her grey hair slicked back in tight little bun.

As she stood there just staring at the ticket sign I walked up to her and said. “excuse me… did you need a ticket?” she looked at me, almost shaking, and said, “I want to go, but I can’t buy a ticket.” I pulled out one of my spare tickets and put one in her hand and said, “now you have a ticket.” Her mouth opened, her eyes welled and as she realized what just happened a big smile came over her face and she gave me the biggest hug. She looked at the ticket in her hand and asked where the seats were – she was afraid of heights. I told her the ticket was in the preferred section in the 100s so she would be pretty close to the ground and she hugged me again and told me she had been specifically praying that God would bring her a ticket on the first floor and here it was.


That was one of the most amazing experiences of my life! As blessed as that woman felt getting a free ticket, it pales in comparison to the blessing I got from it.

With the 5 minute countdown beginning, mom and I decided to head to our seats and planned to try and give the other ticket away before the evening session started since a lot of women who work skip the first afternoon session and don’t come until after work on Friday.

At 6:30 pm on Friday, mom and I went back down to the ticketing area. Feeling like a total stalker (putting those 1st-time connector skills to work) I followed a couple of women who were going from window to window. When I got close enough to hear what they were discussing with the ticket agents, they were asking if anyone turned in their extra tickets might that they might have for free. I interrupted.

One of the ladies explained that she bought two tickets for her and her daughter to come but her daughter kept pushing off the suggestion so she gave her extra ticket away. That morning her daughter actually asked about going, but she’d already given the ticket to a friend and was hoping she could find a free ticket for her daughter since she’d already paid for her daughter’s ticket once. Ta Da! Ticket for the daughter. They were so appreciative for the ticket and I was so appreciative that God used me and blessed me all at the same time.

That evening, Henry Cloud was speaking on the keys to happiness and said that secular psychological research on the “cause” of happiness yielded a top 5 list that looked like it came right out of a church sermon – number one on the list for things that cause happiness was GIVING, number two was CONNECTEDNESS. Seems that I got a two-for-one on my random act of kindness and, yes, the result was abundant happiness.



tracey said...

Brilliant. I will share that story in the future - don't know where or when, but I've put it in the vault. So grateful to have been part of the prayer team that made it happen.

mary said...

i am still, at my advanced age, amazed at the awesome power of prayer! it does sometimes seem that my whole life has been a prayer, answered in ways incomphrensible to me by the absolute grace of our Lord and Savior! thanks, lauren, for sharing your touching encounter with that grace as well. love you always.