We had a birthday luncheon this week for Marva Doss at His Love Counseling services. The compliments that staff members wrote on her card were of the highest regard. That’s because Marva has lived her life as a doer of good deeds.
Random acts of kindness have been a way of life for Marva; it’s not an emphasis for a season.
Children in my office are doers of good deeds. The world might label them as difficult and taxing, but not in my place. Here, if I drop gel pens, they hit the floor to retrieve them for me. If tissues are needed, done.
Now that I’m painfully hobbling on a knee surgery gone bad, I’ve learned just how available doers of good deeds are
.For example, last week I exited a restaurant with slow and painful steps. Suddenly, the door swung back open behind me. A young woman said, “Sir, if you’ll hand me your keys, I’ll go get your vehicle and bring it to you.”
I didn’t take her up on her offer, but she made my day … thoughtful “above and beyond the call of duty,” as they say. I continue to think about her ministry of presence in my life.
And guess who has shown themselves to be the most considerate? Hispanic males. Mexican men wait a considerable amount of time for me to inch toward them to open a door or to solve another need. My admiration for them ever increases.
Servers in other restaurants I frequent are doers of good deeds. Recently, while reaching for the pepper shaker, my sleeve tipped over my full glass of iced tea. I was embarrassed, mortified of appearing to surrounding diners as a fumbling old man.
Zoom! Came my server.
“I’m so sorry,” I lamented.
To comfort me, she said, “It’s OK; it happens more than you’d think.”
To rescue me, she knelt and picked up the ice piece by piece.
To restore me, she soaked up the tea from the table, chairs and floor and refilled my glass.
To show my appreciation, I doubled her tip.
I, too, seek to be a doer of good deeds. My goal is for my presence to be a blessing for all who are touched by my shadow.
I’m certain that it was socialized into me by my parents. My father, a volunteer fireman, kept a fire extinguisher in his truck. He stopped on Houston freeways and put out vehicular fires. He carried tools and fixed flats for strangers.
Dad donated the best timber from our 12 acres of land to be sawed up into boards, and he donated his time to build an Assembly of God church from them.
My mother, a self-taught seamstress, sewed patches onto clothing to help friends and neighbors — sometimes patches on top of patches. She took delicious meals to people down on their luck. She provided “taxi” service to those in need of transportation.
Watching my parents’ good deeds, I wanted to be like them. Unfortunately, I did it with the money my parents had given me for a week’s lunches. Mother inquired, “Where’s that money I gave you for school lunches?”
“I bought ice cream bars for other second-graders in my class.”
“Because they wanted ice cream bars as much as I wanted one, but they didn’t have a way to get them.”
She exclaimed, “I can’t keep the whole school in ice cream bars!”
I didn’t think it mattered, because I was the one to do without lunches. It wasn’t going to cost my parents additional dollars.
Another time, I smuggled a bag of big colorful gumballs into a little makeshift church on Highway 90, near White City.
Soon, every kid on the front row of the worship service chomped thick bubblegum with imprudence.
Dad was furious because everyone should know that it’s irreverent to chew gum in church. He walked over to me, grabbed my hand, stretched my arm, lifted me aloft, hauled me across the front of the congregation with my feet dangling and plopped me in the chair beside him.
In spite of the learning curve, I’ve mirrored the generosity of my parents, and I know how to respect and appreciate doers of good deeds.