A small act of kindness

David Epps's picture

I was about to start the vehicle when I noticed a handwritten noted stuffed under the driver’s side windshield wiper. I had picked up a few things at the Publix at the Thomas Crossroads Shopping Center in Coweta County, not far from my home. Saturday afternoon was almost spent and I had a busy few days ahead. I had loaded the groceries into the back of the Toyota Rav 4 and settled into the seat to begin the drive home. That was when I saw the note.

I got out of the SUV and plucked the note from under the wiper blade. It was handwritten, printed really, in ink, and informed me that the writer had noticed that my rear passenger tire looked low. With note in hand, I walked to the rear of the vehicle and looked down.

I would never have noticed the barely perceptible difference in the rear tire and the front tire. In fact, I had to look closely to determine that the note writer was correct. The tire was a bit low, but hardly noticeable.

I got back in the car wondering what to do. In the end, even though Saturday afternoon was almost over, I decided to have the tire checked at Crossroads Automotive where I regularly have my car work done. The guys looked busy but, since I am a regular customer, they squeezed me in. Half an hour later, I was told that, indeed, a nail had been retrieved from the tire — a tire that had now been repaired.

The note writer may never know the trouble that she (or he) saved me by such a small act of kindness. Had I not taken the car to the shop when I did, the tire would have probably continued to slowly lose air. By Sunday morning, the tire might have been flat.

I get up at 5 a.m. most Sundays to do the final preparations necessary for the conduct of two worship services. I then leave the house around 7:50 a.m. to be at the church by 8 a.m., half an hour before the early service.

On this particular Sunday, I also had a church dinner following the service, then had to travel to Hartsfield Jackson International Airport in Atlanta to retrieve two bishops who were flying in for a conference, transport them to their hotel, and then pick them up again an hour later to take them to dinner.

Monday and Tuesday, the days of the conference, were no less busy and I had to make a return trip Tuesday afternoon to the airport. Wednesday required my presence at a seminar in Atlanta. I had to return to Atlanta on Thursday and again on Friday for medical appointments.

Which is all to say that I didn’t have any time to deal with a flat tire. Which is why I am so grateful that someone left a note on my car.

Not one person in a hundred would notice that someone else’s tire was barely low, maybe not one in a thousand. Of the people that do notice such things, my guess is that very few would take the time to write a note. That person who noticed — that person who left the note — did me an incredible kindness and saved me a great deal of trouble and grief.

This is my note, though not anonymous, to the one who left word of my low tire. To the person who left the note of the black Rav 4 — and to all the people who do small, unheralded acts of kindness at random times — on behalf of the people that you have affected, may I say, “Thank you.”

In case you wonder if such acts are ever noticed or appreciated, please know that they are. In our busy, cluttered, pressured-filled world, we could use a few more small acts of kindness along the way.

[David Epps is the pastor of the Cathedral of Christ the King, Sharpsburg, GA (www.ctkcec.org). He is the bishop of the Mid-South Diocese which consists of Georgia and Tennessee (www.midsouthdiocese.org) and the Associate Endorser for the Department of the Armed Forces, U. S. Military Chaplains, ICCEC. He may contacted at frepps@ctkcec.org.]