A Vending Machine and a Construction Worker

The reason I have “5 Acts of Kindness before I leave” on The List is a really simple one. God has given me so much, and I just want to share out of the overflow. To love people as He does. It sounds cliche, but it’s true. Not just for this one list, but for a lifetime. At the end of my life and at the end of my time here in Colorado, I just hope I showed people a little bit of Jesus. Because Jesus is the kindest person you will ever hope to meet. More than just a person–He gave up His own life for us as the son of God! No other gift will ever compare.

Most of these I’d like to remain anonymous, but here are the stories of two I hope will inspire you.

The Vending Machine 

The envelope.I can’t remember where I saw it first, but somewhere online I came across the idea of placing some quarters in an envelope and taping it to a vending machine with a note saying, “Have a treat on me.”

Simple though it may be, I thought about how fun it would be if I were the one to discover the money and how it might make someone’s day to have the money just waiting for them, or of some little kid who always watches the other kids get treats but can’t get any himself. I also knew of the perfect vending machine.

Praying that just the right person who needed it would find the envelope, I put in enough quarters for two treats and parked around the corner of the location. I reeeally wanted to remain as anonymous as possible, so I waited for a moment when no one was around to sneak inside. I tried taping the envelope to the machine, but I unfortunately didn’t bring along enough tape to make it stick (if you ever try this, remember that the envelope is heavy with the quarters!), so I just laid it in front of the machine instead.

I slipped out just in time.

I didn’t stick around to see who picked it up, but several kids just getting off of school and a busy mom both entered as I walked out, and when I went back to check about ten minutes later, the envelope was gone. 🙂 I don’t think I’ll ever know who the envelope went to, and it doesn’t matter. Because whoever they were, I know they were just the right person.

Traffic cone

Image courtesy of phanlop88 at freedigitalphotos.net

The Construction Worker and the Flower 

While the vending machine idea was more planned, the construction worker and the flower was a complete surprise and more of a prompting of the Holy Spirit than anything else.

Traveling for a babysitting job, I was starting to get annoyed with all of the road construction going on. Cars inched along, and it didn’t seem like I could go anywhere without finding more construction. I can’t remember why now, but I was also in a major mood funk. Not the kind of mood you should be in to go watch kids, let me tell you.

A female construction worker just ahead caught my attention by waving at me. At first I thought she was directing me to move somehow. Then I saw the bright smile on her face, and realized–no, she’s just waving to be friendly!

I glanced at the clock. Did she know how early it was?! Or how terrible of a job she had? Out this early, probably for the entire day, directing traffic with grumpy people on their way to work, and in such a labor-intensive job as construction work. She probably went home exhausted, dirty, and feeling unappreciated every night.

It felt like a fluke, but as I passed her, I watched her wave to every single car that drove by in my rearview mirror. Her smile was absolutely contagious, and I felt it light up my own face the moment I drove away.

Wow, Lord! What a sweet woman–to wave to every single car with a smile on her face! Surely if she can smile and think about others with a job like that, I can, too. 

It was just a smile and a friendly wave, but it changed my entire day. I went from dreading going to work and feeling down to absolutely light-hearted in a matter of seconds, and I couldn’t stop thinking about her.

Oh, Lord–I so wish I could bless her in return! She probably has no idea how just that one smile and a wave completely turned around someone’s day. She needs to know how much she’s appreciated! 

An idea came to me out of nowhere. I’d been given a plastic/fabric flower at an Arbonne party just the night before and was hoping for an opportunity to give it away to someone. The construction worker would be perfect! I got excited even thinking about it.

But what if she wasn’t in the same place tomorrow when I came back this way?

Please let her be there, Lord! That flower is meant for her, I just know it! 

I placed it on my passenger seat and drove slowly the next day, looking for her. But all of the construction workers were men. My heart sank. Had I missed my opportunity?

I refused to give up, though, and left it on the seat.

The following day found me just getting off work, tired and looking forward to making it home, when a familiar smile and wave caught my attention just ahead.

I grabbed the flower quickly and rolled down my passenger side window. She came up to it curiously, if not cautiously.

“Thank you for all of your hard work,” I said, handing her the flower.

“Well, thank you, sweetie,” she answered, sounding as though she were in shock.

I smiled and waved goodbye, knowing there were people behind me waiting for me to move along. Another female construction worker beside her leaned forward, and their astonished expressions made me smile as they bent over the flower and then nodded at my car.

It was a little thing, a plastic flower. But I hope it made a difference.

I know a smile and a wave did for me.

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6 thoughts on “A Vending Machine and a Construction Worker

  1. Oooh, how lovely it is to know that their are similar ppl in this world! Your 1st paragraph caught me & the rest of the story held me! It’s amazing how, similar our stories are. The fact that you said “God has given me so much, and I just want to share out of the overflow” gave me child’s because this is almost the exact mentality I’ve been feeling lately! To whom much is given, much is expected. What ppl fail to realize is that monetary value isn’t what defines being blessed! I loved every word of this post! Thank you & God Bless!

    • Dear kind heart, thank you so much for this sweet note! Went to your blog and was amazed at the similarities as well! Love what you’re doing, and will continue to follow you and your “Look at my RAK” posts (awesome title, lol.) Thank you so much for your sweet spirit, giving heart, and all the inspiration! 🙂

      God bless you too! ❤

      P.S. Love that Bible verse, and it's absolutely true. "To whom much is given, much will be expected."

  2. Great post! I’ve had this desire on my heart for several weeks now. That book about giving that I won was a great read and really has inspired me! It’s great to hear stories of giving, and thank you for sharing YOUR’S!

    • That’s awesome! 😀 It did for me, too! Maybe we should plan some kind of giving day or something when you get back! Be like two-sneaky-partners-in-giving. 😉

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