The other day I was at ShopRite; who am I kidding? I’m always at ShopRite. I go there so much I had to renew my membership in the Local UFCW, that I first joined in 1964 when I was a bag boy at the Acme in
Pitman, Back to the story; so I am heading from my car to the store and I see a man carrying a bag of groceries running after a lady in a Mustang yelling, “your trunk is open, your trunk is open.” I turn to help but by now the man is losing ground on the Mustang despite waving his arms and jumping up and down (even while holding a bag.) He stops, turns around and starts walking towards his car. When he reaches me, he simply says, “Well, I tried.” Yes you certainly did, I responded, sometimes that is all we can do.

I didn’t have many items to pick up, thank goodness since I again forgot to bring in one of the 13 reusable bags I now have in my trunk. Number 14 is about to be purchased. I also could not get this incident out of my mind. This man really did try to help. He saw something that most people did not and he tried to do something about it. It was truly an act of kindness; what we often call one of those random acts of kindness. This got me to thinking even more as I stopped to browse in front of the jellies and jams. Are these acts really random? Or do they happen much more often than we think and we just don’t notice them; because we are too preoccupied with ourselves, our phones, our instagrams or the music
blaring in our ears.

When I think of how this man and his actions affected me, I know that these random acts would have the same effect on others as well. And, these acts do not have to be random. Acts of kindness can happen by
choice, by the way we live our daily lives, by the way we interact with one another on a day-to-day basis. As I said to the YCC students last Sunday; you cannot imagine what a positive impact you can make by simply smiling at someone and saying hello. When Jesus asks us to love our neighbors, here is a very simple way to get started and once you do, you will then find ways to expand on this wonderful ministry
of caregiving.

That gentleman and his caring helped make my day as I know it would have made yours as well. Can you even begin to imagine if such random acts became the new norm? Why don’t we try to find out?

Thanks be to God.

Milt Fredericks
Lay Pastor of Congregational Care