Last Friday was the official “last day of school” for teachers. WOW! Another school year done, time for summer break. As I was packing up my belongings for the two month hiatus, I thought again of the students and teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School. I recently read that their district has plans to demolish the existing school and rebuild another one.
Starting over. Renewal. Rebirth.
Focusing back on the present I took one last look in my computer lab, then shut the door quietly and walked down the hall. There were tearful goodbyes for coworkers who were moving away or moving on to new adventures. There were smiles and laughter as others shared their plans for the summer. Keys and paperwork were turned in and… that was it. The school year was over!
As I got into my car, my purse overturned on the front seat, spilling everything out. The first thing that caught my eye was a page of coupons for the restaurant, Ruby Tuesday. Oh my gosh, I had totally forgotten that was in my purse! When it arrived in my mailbox a few weeks ago, I almost threw it away (It’s not close to my home, so I never go there). Then I realized I could use the coupons to bless others for random acts of kindness! I put it in my purse with good intentions, but with all the end of school craziness it ended up lost in the muddle until this moment.
I bet you know where this is heading… 🙂
Instead of driving home, I drove to Ruby Tuesdays. Even the darkening skies couldn’t damper my excitement at bringing a smile to a stranger’s face.
I pulled out the coupons and made dedication cards for each. I would be able to bless four people today! Awesome!
I chose to dedicate each of these RAKs to Rachel D’Avino, a behavioral therapist at Sandy Hook. Surely she would have been excited about the last day of school. She may have even gone out to lunch with her friends to celebrate the onset of summer break. I felt it was a perfect way to honor her memory.
I walked into Ruby Tuesday and was met by the greeter. “How many in your party?” I had to smile at that question, because it was a party in my heart indeed! I explained my purpose, that I wasn’t here to eat, but rather to perform random acts of kindness in Rachel’s memory. The greeter returned my smile and ushered me into the dining area. “Feel free!”
As I scanned the room half-filled with diners, I decided to start on the right side and just bless each table until I ran out of coupons. The first table had an older couple eating. “Hi… My name is Tamara and I am doing random acts of kindness today. I would like to bless you with a discount on your meal. This card has my website and can explain more.” They were surprised at first (as expected), but thanked me for my generosity as I moved on to the next table of diners.
Two ladies were sitting behind them, the waitress checking to see if they needed anything else with their meal. “Sorry to interrupt,” I began, “But I wanted to bless your day with kindness. Here is a coupon for your meal today!” It’s difficult to explain the rush of emotion you receive when you bless a stranger in this way. There’s always a little bit of apprehension at first (“Are they going to think I’m weird?!), but the appreciation shown by others quickly overrides the worry and replaces it with pure, unfiltered happiness. It’s truly a win-win experience for me and the stranger!
My third coupon went to a mom and her two children. She reached out and shook my hand, grasping it firmly between her own. “Thank you. Thank you so much.” The gratefulness in her voice hinted to an untold story of need. I KNEW the moment she grabbed my hand that this RAK today was no coincidence. She was absolutely chosen by God for today’s blessing!
My last coupon went to a large group of diners seated in the middle of the room, two tables pushed together to accommodate everyone. “This isn’t much, but I hope it blesses your day!” The lady smiled back with appreciation as I quickly exited the restaurant. My work here was done!
No matter if you are a student, teacher, parent, or professional, I hope the start of summer break brings blessings and joy your way. And the next time you get a coupon in the mail, maybe you will choose to use it for someone else instead!
Be blessed, dear friends, and thanks for reading! 🙂