In the movie “Mary Poppins,” Mary, the governess in charge of two children, tells them through a very catchy song that “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down in a most delightful way.” Mary is referring to the nasty tasting medicine, probably cod-liver oil, they are about to take that has been magically sweetened.
But in my opinion, the term “a spoonful of sugar” can apply to anyone doing an act of kindness for a struggling person.
Sometimes, all it takes to make someone’s day is an effortless or generous act of kindness. For some, it can be life altering like it was for a lady named Andrea, as she wrote in her blog about a stranger, a woman who paid her grocery bill of $17.38 when she had no money to pay, and the EBT machine was not working. Andrea, mother of five, and her husband had been unemployed for months, and had at one time even been homeless.
I am especially tender towards homeless people as I am now almost finished revising my fictional memoir of a homeless man named Nick, in the book called Black Coat with a Silver Lining.
But like Andrea, I have also been blessed by strangers’ and friends’ life altering “spoonful of sugar,” when as a single mom, I was living below poverty with three teenagers.
I drove around with such bald tires that when it came time for the tire shop to take my worn out studs off, they refused to put my original tires back on, even after I begged with tears in my eyes.
“I am sorry, but I won’t put those back on. It’s a matter of liability,” The shop manager said. ” But if it wasn’t the liability, I wouldn’t do it anyway. We will still have icy streets.” He pointed to the complete lack of tread and to the hints of steel belt peeking through. “I just cannot do it. Those tires are extremely dangerous. I can’t believe you got away with driving with them for so long without a terrible accident.”
“And frankly, I shouldn’t have even put those on,” he said, referring to the studded tires I had taken to his shop to put on my car at the beginning of the winter season and was now asking to have taken off, “they are almost as bad.”
It was the last day of the legal deadline to take studded tires off. Anyone living in the Midwest knows how hectic that day can be. I was beside myself. I had already taken time off work to go to the tire shop. The last thing I needed was a ticket! I hardly had money for gas and was juggling utility bills to survive. Raising three teens alone in the absence of any child support made for quite a struggle. My barely above minimum wage job wasn’t enough to cover my bills, and that was after I was also cleaning someone’s house on the side.
Inwardly, I cried out to the Lord for help. I called a friend in despair. When several co-workers asked about my sullen looks, I mentioned my problem. Before the day was over, I got a call from the tire shop. Someone had anonymously paid for me to have four used, but in great condition, seasonal tires put on my car! I couldn’t believe it.
My benefactor remained anonymous, but I knew it had to be either my friend or someone from work. I felt so blessed that someone would do such a good deed for our family.
This was the first of many “spoonfuls of sugar,” generous acts of kindness, I was to receive in the six plus years I raised kids alone. Some of them were quite miraculous. Half of these acts of kindness were from non-believers!
Each of these “spoonfuls” gave me a boost of hope to make it through yet many more days and strengthened my faith. Whenever I got really down, I would think back on how God had provided yet one more time through the hands of friends and strangers.
“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
Jesus speaking: “Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward.” Mark 9:41
“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” Hebrews 13:2
One just never knows!
By ~ Elizabeth Yalian 2014 ©http://hiseyeisonthissparrow.com.