Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The Kindness of a Stranger

My friend, Shelly will be celebrating her birthday soon. We met three years ago at the school where we both work and had an instant connection. She is one of the few people here that "gets me" on so many different levels. One of those is our love of music.

Growing up in separate small Kansas communities, we both enjoyed being part of our school choirs and fostered an appreciation for music, both in and outside of our academic setting.

I have recently been listening to old tapes from my church choir, and Shelly expressed how she would love to have a recording of some of her college performances from the late 1980's. So yesterday I called the small college she attended and was connected to the Professor of their music department. I explained what I was looking for and why, and he listened with interest. He said it was definitely worth a try and promised to search through the archives and see what he could find.

This afternoon I received an email from this gentleman who unfortunately, couldn't locate any of the tapes. But because he was touched by this gesture for my friend, he wants to send us both a set of choral CD's, as a gift.

It is a small thing. It is a big thing. This gift of music will soon be on its way, and I am moved by the kindness of a stranger. The fact that this man stopped in the midst of his busy day to honor a request from someone he does not know is a tribute to his character. I suspect I am not the first recipient of his generosity and goodness. And though these notes will not be of my initial request, the music of his spirit rings perfectly to the tune of thoughtfulness.

What a beautiful melody.


Pete Mitchell said...

I don't attend church, so I hope I'm not being hypocritical when I quote: "The Lord works in mysterious ways."

Isn't it great that at a time of loss, when you were feeling low for your letter not arriving on time; you get this wonderful reminder from a complete stranger of what a great and caring person you are, and how good people can be in general. I truly think this is a sign from above telling you not to be so hard on yourself.

Michael said...

random gifts of kindness are the best gifts.

srp said...

A few years ago the "big" concept going around was "random acts of kindness". It shouldn't be a fad but a way of life. Sometimes we don't do them because we don't care, we just don't think about it. It's wonderful to have such a good example of selfless giving.

McSwain said...

What a great story. I've thought about this often lately--how touching these small acts of kindness are, what a difference they can make in our lives, and yet how often I miss opportunities to be kind myself.

I love the piano photo!

alan said...

When you pass your love of the music on to those around you, his gift will grow as well; what more can anyone ask?

That was a very sweet thing you did, to try and acquire those for her...but then that is right in character for you!

Thanks for being you!


naive-no-more said...

Sorry I haven't been around much to comment. Things have been crazy. I've missed your posts and this is another great one!

Networkchic said...

Music tells the soul how to have hope.

Macromoments said...

Lori, this story sounds like one that might fit in that certain book project we discussed recently. :-) Will you think about it?

Great story!

oregoncelticlady said...

Greetings! I jumped over after seeing your comment to Lance! I love your writing. Come visit me too! We will make it through his departure together :-).

martie said...

Another example of your "inner beauty" Lori! Always thinking of others first. You are a rare gift to the world and we are lucky to know you.


Jacqueline said...

Thumbs up for you, Lori! Your selfless gesture set the ball rolling - kindness begets more kindness.
Inspiring post!