Yesterday, after a particularly slow morning of tedious tasks, I decided to venture out to Trader Joe’s to stock up our fridge. I eyed the clock, knowing that I would need to move quickly if I wanted to make it back home before the rush hour traffic began. The end result was me looking mildly homeless, relying heavily on dry shampoo and a sketchy bun that was a lot more tangle than faux mess. A dab of concealer under my eyes and a sweatshirt over my head and I was out the door, slightly concerned I would see someone I knew, but reassured by the fact that they may not in fact, recognize me.
My drive was short, a mere 11-miles, perfect for starting a podcast. With Craig Groeschel chatting in the background, I drove, feeling the weight of the gray, wintery dreary Minnesota day. As I rounded my exit, the sun popped through the clouds and I couldn’t help but smile. The warm rays felt so refreshing and the short-lived need for my sunglasses made me feel hopeful that spring is near.
I found a front row parking spot, which is a simple win while grocery shopping. Armed with my list, I busted through the few aisles of Trader Joe’s, only impulsively purchasing goat cheese and a new breed of apples. (Talk about another win!)
The registers were empty and I slide my cart forward, quickly meeting my cashier, J, who shared a remarkable resemblance to Santa.
J: Why hello!
C: Hi, how are you doing today?
J: I’m wonderful. And how’s your day going?
C: It’s going good, thanks!
Then without a pause, J asked: What about it has made it good?
(Sidenote: I LOVE THAT HE ASKED THAT QUESTION! I love that he prompted me to intentionally think about why my day was a good day. Love love love.)
C: You know, honestly, I got to use my sunglasses on the way over and saw the sun peeking through the clouds and that was just really refreshing. Plus, I got a front row spot, so that’s a bonus. (chuckle)
J: That’s so wonderful. Every day we wake up we are given a gift. I’m glad to hear you are looking for them in big and small ways.
C: So true. And also, I loved walking in and seeing the tulips on display. They remind me spring is coming.
J: Aren’t they beautiful? Tulips and daffodils, both are in season right now.
C: You know, I always see the daffodils but how do they work? They are just in a big crate over there with no water?
J: Daffodils have to be kept out of water because once their stems hit the water, they will blossom. Then they will bloom the most beautiful yellow blooms for about 2 days and then their purpose has been filled. It’s amazing how they will just come to life in a few hours with something as simple as water.
C: How about that!? That’s cool, thanks for sharing. Let’s add to my list that I learned something new today too.
J: Tell ya what, on your way out, stop by and grab 2 bouquets of daffodils, on me. I am going to mark it down right here, and I want you to go home and put them in water and enjoy their blooms over the next few days. Okay?
I have to admit, I felt a little emotional! It was just such a kind, simple, unexpected gesture from this man. I muttered some sincere words of appreciation, feeling a little foolish about how surprised I was at his kindness. He continued.
J: See, it’s the little things in life, isn’t it? I hope you enjoy them. There’s no such thing as too much kindness in the world! And I can do this for you so I will. Plus, I don’t just give gifts at Christmas.
(And then he gave the tenderest wink and I swear when he said that, I looked at him with wide eyes like I was talking to the real Santa Clause. I have to chuckle now imagining what my face looked like.)
And with that, he handed me an empty flower bag, packed my filled grocery bags into my cart and sent me off to grab a few bouquets of daffodils. And as I walked out to my car, I couldn’t help but feel so incredibly blessed to be the recipient of this small but generous act of kindness.
So now my challenge to you: Who will you give daffodils to today? What’s a small gesture of kindness that you can do for someone who doesn’t expect it? Will it be paying for the coffee for the car behind you? Or slipping a note in the mail for a friend? Maybe it’s dropping off a bouquet of flowers to someone having a hard week. Or giving up the good parking spot at Target for a stranger. Maybe it’s offering to bring a struggling mom’s cart back to the carousel at Costco or perhaps utilizing Amazon Prime and sending a small surprise to a girlfriend. Whatever it is, large or small, monetary or not, do something kind today. The domino effect of kindness doesn’t stop there. My cashier has no idea how his gesture would affect you reading this right now, just as you have no idea how much your gesture will mean to someone else. Like the water is to the daffodils, one small action to a weary soul has the potential to refresh them, allowing them to smile, be energized and blossom.
Let’s be people who give daffodils today.