Today’s Kindness Matters Monday post is written by my cousin Blake. He and his wife have recently begun a brave new blogging adventure at Couples Against Pornography. As a wife and as a mother, I am so grateful for the work that they are doing. You can check out their website here (or connect with them on Facebook).
“You will stay with us.” These five little words perfectly sum up how my friend Janet lives her life. Always looking for an opportunity to help others, she later told me helping is how she expresses her faith. Janet is quick with a kind word or an offer of help. Her kindness to me—an offer to stay with her family while I looked for housing—came on the very first day I met her.
I had just completed a cross-country move to a city where I had never been before and where I knew no one. With my wife and two kids a week behind me, and with two cats living with me in the car, I needed to find housing, and I needed to find it fast. Our new hometown had a booming population with a severe housing shortage, which meant decent places to live were expensive and gone in a heartbeat. I had little time and little money to make it all work.
I began training for my new job the morning after I arrived in town. At the end of the day I snagged some lunch leftovers and had a picnic outside by myself. I was not quite sure where to go or what to do. Having two cats with me had made finding a cheap place to stay quite difficult, and we simply didn’t have money for an extended stay in a hotel.
After eating, I set off to find a trashcan. And I ran straight into Janet and her friends. We ran through the normal getting-to-know-you conversation and I mentioned that I was looking for a cat-friendly hotel where I could stay while searching for housing. Janet didn’t hesitate: “You will stay with us,” she said. She wouldn’t take any answer but yes. She took me home right then to meet her husband and teenage son.
I stayed with Janet’s family for a whole week. They treated me like one of their own. We had meals together, sat on the porch and talked together, and even worked on their farm together (I wasn’t about to sit around and not reciprocate their generosity). Janet did not hesitate to show immediate kindness to a stranger. Her kindness truly did matter to me, in a huge way. She saw a need and filled it, and in so doing not only saved me a lot of money, but also taught me the importance of doing what we can for others. In the end, I think her giving me a place to sleep was less impactful than the attitude with which she did it: with a warm hug a big smile on her face. Something we can all emulate.
-Blake, author at couplesagainstpornography.org