Yay!  I was the recipient of a random act of kindness.  We’ve all seen the FB memes and heard the stories, but wow when it happens to you it’s like the sky is opening up and the warmth of the sun is pouring down on your rainy day. 

Let me start by saying I have had a rough few days. 

I have rheumatoid arthritis and after years of struggling first for a diagnosis and then to find the proper meds the past six months I have been virtually pain free.  I first started getting joint pain in high school and it’s been one joint or another almost non-stop since then so I can’t tell you how revolutionary these past six months have been. I don’t really talk about my pain though and most of my friends are only vaguely aware that I have arthritis so other than my immediate family and a few people in my RA group no one really knows that in the midst of all the drama that has defined 2020 I have been quietly celebrating.  I have felt better than I have since early childhood. 

That is until last week.  I am not sure what triggered it, but my immune system went haywire last week and attacked my fingers and wrists with a  vengeance.  It’s weird because I have had pain for so long I think I got used to it.  Childbirth, for example, really hurt, but even without pain meds I just didn’t feel like it was all that terrible.  I’ve had life threatening infections and broken bones and the only thing I could say is , “I feel funny”. I just think my brain has coped with the arthritis pain by not registering pain to the level it should.  But now, after six months pain free when my hands flared up I really felt it.  More than I ever have before.  And when your hands hurt you really can’t do anything at all. I am a really active person—it’s just really hard for me to sit and do nothing and I felt like if I could convince my brain it was time to sleep maybe it would calm down and I wouldn’t be so disturbed to just sit there so I just sat in a dark room and prayed the rosary and watched some TV for several days.  It was driving me crazy. No one knew this outside my immediate family.   

Well, God saw my suffering and spoke to the heart of an anonymous friend.  I got a mysterious box in the mail of Peeps—from “Candyland, USA”.  I love Peeps.  I just love them.  And this person was out shopping and saw these Peeps and thought of me.  And not knowing how miserable I was she mailed me a box of Peeps out of the blue.  And those Peeps were, in their sweet marshmallow goodness, not random at all.   They were God’s love for me pouring forth in an act of kindness from friend just when I needed it most.  (And they were cool flavor peeps too—even root bear float peeps!!  Can you even imagine?)

What’s really beautiful about this is that it’s not the first time this has happened.  I have received random boxes of Peeps in the mail from friends both known and anonymous many times.  (Clearly I must profess my love for peeps a great deal lol) Each time it’s been when I really needed to feel the love of friends.  God does all kinds of miracles.  He can move mountains, cure cancers, and even inspire small simple random acts of kindness like a box of Peeps for when you need it most.  And now I am inspired to pass the kindness on.  When you receive a simple miracle like this you see how much power we have to pass on love and make the world better.  It’s just beautiful. 

My hands are feeling better this morning.  The swelling is down and the joints are unlocked and I can move them at least enough to type this.  Hoping I can get through this without any more steroids and this will be a one off and I’ll feel better again, but even if I don’t I know God will get me through with the miracle of Peeps and friendship.  (And some high quality dictation software.  I think I really need to look into that….)

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About Mary

Mary Stephens holds a degree in international affairs from Georgetown University and a Masters in Teaching from the American University. Mary spent almost twenty years homeschooling her four children and is now navigating post homeschool life in Alaska. She offers personal insights, recipes, homeschooling tips and tricks and travel advice on her website penciltreks.com. Mary also owns Christopher Travel, a luxury travel company specializing in exquisite vacations around the globe.

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