Sticky Notes From God
by Teresa Higginbotham
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I'm walking into a grocery store. I see a young mother trying to put a baby in a carrier on the basket. I see a toddler starting to wander off. STICKY NOTE:Don't let him get away from and into the parking lot. I step in the way of the toddler just as the mother looks up, smiles, and reaches out for him.
Do you get these things? Maybe you do and you just don't see it...yet. I'll be going along and then I see it. A sticky note from God. A little suggestion.
Your neighbor is going through a stressful time. STICKY NOTE: Help them out. Take food. Offer baby-sitting. Offer to cut their grass.
A friend's husband is out of work. STICKY NOTE: Start asking around to see if you know anyone with a job opening.
Someone you know is coming upon the anniversary of a loved one's death. STICKY NOTE: Give them a call, write a letter, stop by for no reason.
I have to admit, I get plagued with these things. Do I always respond to that little yellow piece of paper in my mind? Well...no. I tell myself I'm too busy. I have problems of my own. I don't want to meddle in their lives. And yet, I know that when someone has extended a small kindness towards me, I always feel so blessed by it.
Recently, a friend of mine was shopping and found the book Angel Unaware. She put it in my box at church (I have a son with Down Syndrome and this book is Dale Evan's Rogers account of parenting a child with Down Syndrome). She forgot to put a note in saying the book was from her, so for weeks I wondered who had been so thoughtful. I asked many people who smiled and said no. Finally after a few weeks, she came up and asked if I had found the book. I was so surprised, but then I knew this person and her warm heart. We hugged and I think she was a little amazed at my thankfulness. To her it was not that big of a deal, she was just thinking of me.
In a world that seems to have so many self-absorbed people, it's nice to know someone went for the sticky note. How long did it take? Not half as long as the time I spent in thankfulness for her. If you know someone who regularly helps others, do something nice for them. That lady who cooks all the church suppers; the trash guy who picks up the trash even though yours has been spread out across the lawn by dogs; the person who lets you in front in the checkout because you have fewer items.
Sometimes on little thing can make a difference in someone else's day. One time I was at a fabric store browing and this man was checking out. He was yelling at the cashier about what the store didn't have on the shelf. She had to be in her 70's,working on her feet,and her white head bowed as the man continued to yell at her. She tried to explain, but he didn't care to hear. He left and she took a deep breath and tried to check out the next customer. The thought of this man berating her for something she had no control over got to me.
It was a hot day and I went out of the fabric store and bought a Coke at a nearby drugstore. I went back to the fabric store and waited in her line. When I arrived at the front, I put the Coke on the counter.
"No one derserves to be treated like that man just treated you."
She said, "I'm sorry, you can't drink the Coke in the store."
"No, you don't understand. I bought this for you. When you go on your break, take this and put your feet up."
She looked back at me, really unsure, thinking I was just a little strange. (Maybe I was). Then she smiled and took the can and said thank you. I walked out and felt better. Maybe I had done something to balance back what the yelling man had done so cruelly.
That was my sticky note that day. One of the ones I've heeded. All those others...O.K., O.K., I'm working on it.
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