So yeah, you know how it goes. You’re just sort of going along and doing life and it’s not half bad, and you kinda think that maybe it’s all gonna be okay.

You think that maybe you’re really gonna be okay.

But the thing is, this journey we’re on? It’s sort of filled with twists and turns and you can bet that you’d better expect the unexpected.

Storms happen and things crash down and why in the world would we ever expect anything else in this world? Why would we expect that there’s grace in the busting up and the crashin’ down?

And yet, there kinda is.

It just up and broke apart on us, tree that stood sentinel over the way into our drive. The big old maple that’d always been kind of split a bit in the middle, making a most excellent place of refuge or just plain sittin’ and thinkin’ for young boys. They’d climb it and settle in and summers would pass and now they’ve grown and no one’s sittin’ in that tree now which is a good thing because it just up and broke apart.

It must’ve made a mess of the street, I think, because the chunk that came apart was facing the road and don’t be telling me that there’s only awfulness in this world or that angels don’t live here, because when I discovered the wreck all the brokenness had already been cut and stacked and cleared out of the way.

And me? I’d like to thank someone, but I don’t know who. Whomever toted a chain saw and cleaned up the boughs didn’t stick around or leave a note and no one seems to know who I need to thank.

Kindness of strangers, in this day and age when we’re all divided and divisive? Does that stuff even happen anymore?

Does anyone even believe in loving neighbor and cleaning up someone else’s mess without getting at least something in return for their trouble?

Go ahead and read the news and you won’t find many newsworthy stories about angels with chain saws stacking wood for a stranger, because maybe that’s just ordinary and kind and maybe ordinary kindness doesn’t sell as well as the extraordinary or the extreme.

But this? This ordinary kindness? It’s really the most extraordinary thing of all. It’s really the most newsworthy thing of all. Because this – this ordinary kindness – is how the world changes.

This is how we change the world – by ordinary kindness.

I sure do wish I knew who the angel was, or angels if there were more than one of them. There might very well have been, given the size of the pile of branches and logs. Wish I knew who they were so I could thank them, but it doesn’t look like anyone’s gonna ‘fess up to it anytime soon.

Which is fine, I guess. I mean, I guess I don’t get a choice in the matter. I just get the gift of kindness.

Which is, after all, a pretty awesome gift to get.

And also, to give.


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