It’s amazing how much a small act of kindness speaks. Edelweiss is a soft white flower that grows on barren mountain heights. Amy Carmichael compares this flower to the little things of joy that can always be found in the painful and frustrating experiences of life – but we have to keep our eyes open so we won’t miss them. Today has been a day of frustration after frustration, and finally it built to a point where I felt like exploding.
Tomorrow is closing for the townhome, and the girl buying it has been extremely picky. We spent all weekend cleaning it to make it nice for her, yet she still has to complain that we didn’t self-clean the oven. So I drove over there today only to find that her realtor had gone ahead and self-cleaned the oven – even though they complained to us and told us to do it. We left a large pile of trash in the garage with a sign that said “TRASH – trash day is Thursday” and she complained that we hadn’t taken it out, requesting that we do so before she moves in. Becca and I have been planning all along to stop by there tonight to set it out – it’s not like we could have left it sitting on the curb ALL WEEK.
The lightbulbs Becca had bought yesterday to replace the TWO burned out lights in our apartment were corroded and broken in the package. I returned them today to have the girl tell me that there was a 15% charge for “shipping and handling” of the BROKEN lightbulbs – but she was wrong and because she felt bad, took a discount off the new lightbulbs for me.
The filter AND belt for our vacuum need to be replaced, but I couldn’t find the right model kind at the store.
I stopped by the gas station to get gas in my car only to discover that Becca still had my Safeway card…so I didn’t get gas yet because I really want the discount.
I returned home and put in one of the new lightbulbs above the kitchen table…and it still didn’t work. However, the lightbulb is fine because I tried it in another fixture and it worked there. So…I headed over to the office with a maintenance request for my good friends, Tim and Eugene. All this un-fixed, un-settled stuff makes me feel frustrated.
As I returned to my building, I saw three little neighbor kids coming around the corner towards me; one little girl was carrying a huge potted plant in her tiny arms. “We’ve gotta return the flowers!” they exclaimed to me. “Yeah, they fell off the balcony!” one of the others said. I was touched by these children’s simple act of kindness (maybe it’s the teacher in me ;) ). They carried that pot all the way to the 3rd floor and carefully set it at the foot of my neighbor’s door. Then they took off with smiles.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the little frustrations that seem to bombard our lives…but we are refreshed when we discover an “Edelweiss” growing along beside them.