Yesterday evening, after a very long couple of weeks preparing for AGU, Derrick and I went to Target and bought a few thingss, including near-instant dinner (pizza and these lovely fruit-filled pastries we warmed in the oven and served with ice cream). As we were standing in the produce section, this woman came up to us and said something along the lines of, "Hello, we've selected you to receive this gift card." At first I was mildly annoyed, thinking we were at the receiving end of some promotion, but when I looked up at the woman holding the card, I realized she wasn't a Target employee, and the people standing around her were members of her family. She wished us a happy holiday season, we expressed our mumbled, confused thanks, and the six of them continued on their way, and we on ours.
That made my day. I've been so wrapped up in preparing for my conference it hardly feels like the holiday season. My in-laws asked how Derrick and I were dressed, teasing us we probably looked so ragged the family assumed we were needy. I suspect they chose us because of Sylvia. In any case, I'm grateful for their kindness, and for whatever spirit possessed them to perform this small kindness for us. While physically and financially we're in good shape, emotionally I was in need, especially right now, and especially because I didn't even recognize the lack until something was given to fill it. We're not even going to keep the card--we have a much better and much more important use for it--passing it along to, we hope, bless the life of someone else!