"Then these righteous ones will reply, 'Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?' And the King will say, 'I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!'" (Matthew 25:37-40 NLT)

I had abruptly run out of printer ink just when I needed it, so I found myself making the long drive to the only store around here that sells it. It was the worst possible time to shop. The store was packed with people and the wait at the checkout counter was long. I could see the stress and frustration on the faces of the people around me. It was no better in the parking lot and I found myself in the middle of a long line of cars waiting to pull out on the highway.

As my car was inching forward I saw her. She was a young, thin woman with black skin and a tattered coat. She was holding up a cardboard sign that read: "Homeless. Please Help!" I watched as car after car drove past her while their drivers averted their eyes. As I came closer my better angels whispered in my ear and I quickly grabbed my wallet and pulled out the little cash I had left. I stopped next to her, rolled down my window, and quickly put it in her hand. She looked at me with a small, sad smile and whispered "Thank You" before the honking of the car behind me forced me to drive on.

I drove away saying a prayer for her and hoping that I had helped her even a little. Did my small act of kindness make a difference for her? I don't know. Did it change the opinion of the driver behind me? Probably not. Was it important in the eyes of Heaven? Definitely So! In this life we all want to make great changes and do great things, but sometimes a small kindness is all God asks of us. Sometimes a small kindness is all we can do. Sometimes a small kindness is enough.

Robert Fulghum once wrote: "Maybe being a bleeding heart is always better than having no heart at all." Let your heart guide you then. Fill your days with small kindnesses. Fill your life with love. And know there is always a home waiting for you: in Heaven.

Joseph J. Mazzella