Earlier today (I’m in Texas visiting family for a few days. Yee haw!) in an attempt to be friendly, I asked my brother’s teenaged stepdaughter (whom I’ve met only a couple of times) if she’d like to have a bite of lunch with me in the kitchen. (Her mom and stepdad–my brother–were at work.) She politely declined, having eaten not that long ago, so I took my book for companionship and ate quietly at the dining room table.
Several hours later, I found that I had the munchies, so I headed back to the kitchen to see what I could find. In their snack stash were fancy almonds coated with some sort of seasoning. Delicious! After gathering a handful into a small bowl to take to the family room where I’d been reading, I headed toward the hallway when suddenly I felt impressed to approach the girl again in her room to see if she’d like some of the almonds. My past experience informed my reaction: “She’s not going to want any,” I thought to myself. “I should leave her in peace.” But the impression remained, with an additional word of encouragement: “Don’t fear rejection.”
I instantly sensed that offering her something was more about caring than it was about food. Mustering the courage of kindness, I knocked on her door and asked if I could come in. “I’ve just tried these almonds in the kitchen, and they’re to die for! I’m wondering what spice is on them. Would you like to try one and share your guess with me?” I said lightly, extending the bowl toward her.
She agreed and ate an almond. “These are good! You found them in the kitchen?”
“Yep, in the snack tin,” I answered. “Shall I get you some?”
“No thanks. But I’ll have to see if I can figure out what they are.”
“I’d love to know,” I replied. “I just can’t place the flavor.”
My stepniece and I smiled, and I departed. Back in the family room, I remembered a similar experience I’d lived a couple of years ago when I’d gotten the idea to invite some extended family members to dinner last minute but gotten a negative in response (they’d already eaten). At first disappointed that my invitation had been rejected, I soon concluded, “At least they’ll know I was thinking about them.” I’m wondering if there are times when caring offers to serve are just as helpful as actual “doing to others.”
It appears that, sometimes,
it is the thought that counts.