The Kindness of Strangers

As I was drifting to sleep, my mind clicked through thoughts like late-night television channels.

Suddenly, one grabbed my attention.

What did I do with those old photographs of Dad and the kids?

Oh, yeah, they’re in the side pocket of my brown purse.


I sold that purse to the consignment store last week!

The next morning I went to Simply Chic, a resale store I visit occasionally. I marched in on mission to find my purse. I must have looked slightly crazed, because an employee quickly came over.

“Is there something I can help you find,” she asked quizzically.

“I did something dumb,” I said, briefly explaining my situation.

“Was it a brown purse with a gold clasp and zippered side pockets?” she asked brightly.

“Yes, that’s it!”

“I sold it last night.”

My heart sank, and I began rambling as I’m apt to do.

“I was visiting my mom, and I came across some old photos of my kids with my dad, who passed away, and I mindlessly stuffed them in my purse. Oh, I just can’t believe I did that…”

I stopped talking when my voice cracked. The stranger gave me a quick, friendly hug.

“I think I can figure out who I sold it to,” she said confidently.

Within minutes, she was dialing the number of the woman who had purchased my purse.

She told my story into the phone, “So you’ll check?”

“She’s going to check,” she said to me holding the phone to her chest.

We waited hopefully for several minutes.

“They are! Oh, good! Would you mind dropping them off at the store for her?”

“Ohh,” she said a little less cheerfully, “well, do you think you could bring them by when you return from vacation?”

I expressed my gratitude to the employee who had gone out of her way to help me. It turned out she was a manager from another store, just filling in for a couple of days. Someone would call me if the photos were returned.

I left the store certain that would never happen.

About two weeks later, my phone rang.

“Hi, I’m calling from Simply Chic. I found an envelope here with some photos I think belong to you.”

The photographs are just some candid shots that capture ordinary moments. When I look at those old pictures, they tell a story of love between my now-grown children and their grandfather.

They also tell a story of kindness from three strangers. The store manager, the woman who returned the photos, and the employee who called me, each performed an act of kindness.

Their simple Lesson in Loveliness offers encouragement to see the good in the world and inspiration to be the good the world. It’s a lesson my dad would have loved.


Think On These Things ~ Alicia


One comment

  1. What a blessing!


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