This is what happened on the rest of my birthday.
I shared with you how I spent my birthday. Now let me tell you what happened that night. After we got home from our trip my husband and I headed out for some time alone. Or should I say, some quiet time away from the children.
My husband likes to play Magic the Gathering, a card game. He stopped playing because for most of our marriage he had no one to play with. Last year I decided to give it a go so we could do something that he likes together. Lo and behold, I actually like playing it. Well the last couple of games he had been hammering on me. So I decided to go to the card shop for my birthday and see if I couldn’t find a deck of cards that could turn the tide in my favor.
When we got there, the clerk working this night wasn’t very familiar with the game and wasn’t able to answer my questions and help me find the deck that would help me annihilate my husband. We were looking around and I was beginning to think I might just head home and come back another time when two young men came in. They came over to where we were looking at cards and were beginning to search for something themselves. I could tell they were serious card players and would be able to answer the questions I had. So I walked up to one of them and began asking him about the decks I was considering. He was a wealth of advice and information.
While discussing a deck I especially wanted, he explained that it was an awesome deck and would help me be able to hammer on my husband and his decks. The only thing is this deck is centered around a specific card, a card that I did not have. The deck wouldn’t be very good without this card. As we continued to talk he was explaining the way this deck worked and the card and how great they were. He then said, “I have that card and I can give it to you, it’s your birthday.” He was carrying a back pack with him. He opened it up, pulled out a binder, found the card, and then handed it to me and said “Happy birthday”.
I thanked him and took the card. I was somewhat astounded as I did not know him and in the world of Magic the Gathering cards, they can be worth money. I was excited and very grateful that he would be so kind.
What he didn’t know and couldn’t possibly know was that I was struggling with discouragement. I had a plan of celebrating my birthday by giving rather than receiving. I had spent the day working to do that to the best of my abilities. But I had also been struggling with the thoughts of what about me, what am I getting out of this. I had done my best to keep my mind focused on what I wanted to accomplish but by that night I was tired. Thinking, really being present with where one’s thoughts are is hard and tiring work. Like anything else you work at, it can feel a little discouraging at times when you are not sure if you are achieving what you were working for.
This is where my thoughts were when this kind and generous young man gave me a gift for my birthday. We finished talking and I went on to look at some other things before leaving the store when his friend came over and gave me a card as well. He said, “This will be a great card with that deck as well” and wished me a happy birthday. I was again surprised that a stranger would be so kind and he was right, it is a way cool card. I looked at the two of them with wonder and thanked them for their kindness. I found out that the second friend had had his birthday the day before mine and I told him I wished I had my cards with me to give him a gift. I wished him a happy birthday. I hugged them both and thanked them again and found when we might be able to see them at the store for game nights.
What are the chances with all the days of the week and the hours of those days that I would come across such kind and generous spirits at a time when I was feeling low? And how would they even know how I was feeling and what I stood in need of. There are many who would say it was luck or a coincidence, but I don’t think it was either. I believe those are just words we use to try and explain the wonder and amazement of a very devoted and loving Heavenly Father.
I believe the acts of kindness of others is the love of God. For it is He who knew what I was working to accomplish and it was He that knew how I was feeling. I know that it was He who sent those young men to be where I was and inspired them to be so kind and give me the gifts. Jesus said, “As ye have done it unto the least of them ye have done it unto me.” I believe as we have served Him, we also serve for Him. As we have done it unto Him, we do it for Him. The scriptures teach us that we are to be as the body of Christ. We through our actions become His hands to give assistance, His arms to embrace and comfort, His shoulders to bear up and support, etc. And as we do these things we become more like Him.
Through the actions of these two strangers I was given the gift of seeing my Father’s love for me and have come to a deeper understanding of just how mindful of me He always is. He is always there for me, even when I choose to turn away from Him. He is like the sun ever constant and we are as the planets that circle around Him. If we find ourselves closer or further away, it is because we have moved. And if we find ourselves facing out into the cold darkness, we have but to turn around to find ourselves in the warmth of His light again. Just as the sun’s light shines out equally in all directions, so does His love. And if we wish to receive more fully all we have to do is seek Him, for it is there freely for all to partake. I believe these gifts were His way of acknowledging that He is aware of what I am doing was giving me a nod of encouragement to keep it up.
And for any of you who are wondering, my new friend was right. It is an awesome deck of cards. My husband and I went home and played. He won the first game, but I hammered on him several times there after!
So the next time you feel inspired to do something, think twice before you ignore it. You just may be an act of the love of God in the life of another person.