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Center Reflections

On Being Kind, Always

Submitted by Kathy Harvey

Have you ever had someone go out of their way to be helpful to you? Maybe they went the extra mile or did something amazing that you weren’t expecting. I’ve certainly experienced times like that in my life. Without it, the foundation of my adult life would have been completely different as it’s the way my young husband and I were able to purchase our first home instead of spending years renting an apartment.

I came across the following story in and e-news I receive called Monday Matters and decided to share it with all of you. It demonstrates a powerful story of kindness given and returned ten-fold. I hope you enjoy the story and are encouraged to always share kindness with anyone you meet. As scripture reminds us, we sometimes entertain angels unaware.

Many years ago on a stormy night, an elderly man and his wife entered a small hotel in Philadelphia, PA Trying to get out of the rain, the couple approached the front desk hoping to get a room. The husband asked, “Could you possibly give us a room here?”

The clerk, a friendly man, looked at the couple and said, “All our rooms are taken.”

The couple was disappointed. The clerk said, “I can’t send a nice couple like you back out into the rain at one o’clock in the morning. Would you perhaps be willing to sleep in my room? It’s not exactly a suite but it will be good enough to make you folks comfortable for the night.

The couple declined the offer.

The clerk explained that there were conventions in town and all the other hotels were also full. He went on to say, “Don’t worry about me, I’ll make out just fine.” He insisted the old couple stay for the night.

The couple finally agreed.

The next morning as the elderly man paid the bill, he said to the clerk, “You are the kind of manager who should be the boss of the best hotel. Maybe someday I will build one for you.”

The clerk looked at them and smiled. The three of them had a good laugh.

As the couple left, they both agreed that the clerk was exceptional. It isn’t easy to find someone who is both friendly and helpful.

Two years passed. The clerk who had almost forgotten about the incident, received a letter from the old man. He recalled the stormy night and enclosed was a roundtrip ticket to New York City asking the young man to pay them a visit.

The old man met him in New York and led him to the corner of Fifth Avenue and 33rd Street. He pointed to a great building, a pale reddish stone, with turrets and watch towers thrusting to the sky.

Pointing to the building, the old man said, “That is the hotel I have just built for you to manage.”

“You must be joking,” the young man replied.

“I assure you, I am not,” said the old man.

The young clerk never foresaw the turn of events that would lead him to become the manager of one of the most glamorous hotels in New York. The old man was William Waldorf-Aster and the magnificent structure was the original Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.

There is a lesson in this story for each of us. “Remember, there is no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.”

Colossians 3:12 tells us: Since you have been chosen by God who has given you this new kind of life, and because of his deep love and concern for you, you should practice tenderhearted mercy and kindness to others. Don’t worry about making a good impression on them, but be ready to suffer quietly and patiently.  (TLB)

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