The discouragement was so deep within me, I could hardly stand it.
My province was going into lockdown. Again. I knew this was coming, but the discouragement hit me harder this time. I’m not sure why. Just last month, I wrote on how this pandemic won’t last forever, and suddenly I was having a very hard time believing the words I’d once written.
It wasn’t just the impending lockdown. I’d said yes to too many things and felt like I had too much on my plate. I was overwhelmed and at the end of my rope. I’d gone to bed with a stress headache and woken up with a clenched jaw. (I know, I sound like a blast to hang out with.)
I needed a change of pace and a change of scenery, and because I couldn’t stop the lockdown or magically complete any of my current projects, I settled for the one thing I could control: getting my mail. When I opened my slot in the apartment lobby, there was a little brown box waiting for me.
I didn’t think I’d ordered anything recently, but maybe I’d forgotten about something. I took the box out from the mail slot and held it in my hands, noticing the name on the return label.
It was from a friend of mine. She lives almost two thousand miles from me, and I wasn’t expecting anything from her.
Immediately, a smile formed on my lips. I shook the surprise package, and it felt like glass. What could this be? I used my keys to rip the package open before even going back upstairs.
I opened the cardboard and gasped.
My friend had sent me four bottles of Trader Joe’s Everything But The Bagel seasoning.
“What?!” I said out loud to no one.
I picked up one of the priceless bottles, bringing it to my nose and inhaling the scent, smelling the notes of onion and garlic and salt. I couldn’t believe it.
I live in Canada, and I’d lamented to my American friend months ago — quite dramatically — wondering if I would ever be able to cross the border and go to Trader Joe’s to buy this seasoning again.
I stared at the box in my hands with those four bottles inside of it. Tears threatened in my eyes. It was just a couple bottles of seasoning and yet they said so much to me: I see you. I hear you. I love you. I’m thinking of you.
My friend’s small act of kindness wasn’t small to me. It was huge. She didn’t remove the pandemic or the lockdown or even the projects from my plate, but she made me feel seen and known and loved.
I think God often uses our small acts of kindness in that way — to turn someone’s day or season into a reminder of God’s faithfulness. I’m reminded of how Jesus took the loaves of fish and bread — someone’s small, meager offering — and transformed it into plenty. He happens to take our little and turn it into a lot. His math doesn’t always make sense to me, but I know for certain that He honors our small offerings.
I don’t know if God whispered to my friend in her California Trader Joe’s to buy seasoning for this Canadian girl, or if my friend was just being her kind and wonderful self, but I know for certain that God multiplied her offering. Her small kindness compounded into a thousand reminders for me: of the friendship I have with her, of the faithfulness of God, of how I am seen, known, loved, held, remembered, and cherished.
Sometimes God’s faithfulness looks like loaves and fishes, multiplied into dinner for thousands. But sometimes it just looks like four bottles of Trader Joe’s Everything But The Bagel seasoning.Leave a Comment