The other day when we arrived home from our afternoon walk there was a tray of eggs sitting on the doorstep. A couple of weeks before, I found a lady in town who has free range chickens and was looking to start a business of delivering fresh eggs to those who were interested. You can imagine how excited I was! Farm fresh eggs delivered to my door? That alone felt like a piece of home to me. I hadn’t come around to buying eggs yet simply because I missed having fresh ones straight from the yard. Fast forward to the other day when I saw a new tray of eggs sitting by our door. I grew worried that I mistakenly let her know we wanted them regularly (she had already brought a tray to us the week prior). I texted her to say thank you and to ask how much we owed her and to let her know we won’t be needing it anymore now that we’re moving. Her reply was to simply enjoy and not to worry about the payment. It may have been a simple gesture but it is one of many that deserves my acknowledgment. Kindness has overwhelmed us here in Amman. We’ve been the recipients of it from unlikely strangers, some of whom we now consider friends. During our first week in town, we were introduced through a mutual friend to a family from South Carolina that happen to have two little boys close to Remy’s age. Rachel (the mom) quickly became a saving grace for me. Be it by picking us up for a play date while Greg was in lessons or letting us borrow the pack n play for Remy to use for this entire month. She’s graciously given her time and possessions to us and is someone I now call a friend. It would be easier for her not to invest in me, a short term friendship with little to give to her in return. But she doesn’t think like that. She (and her husband) offer what they can and extend kindness to our little family. That’s been the pattern for us here. Greg regularly comes home with treats from his lesson made by tutor’s mother specifically for Remy and me. Before our trip to the Dead Sea, I put out a message on a local Facebook group looking to rent a carseat, and a sweet lady offered to let me borrow hers. So she emailed me – a complete stranger – directions to her home so we could pick it up on our way out of town. It nearly baffled me that someone would go out of their way for the likes of our needs. And there was the car ride from a mama who knew we’d be hard pressed finding a taxi after leaving the children’s museum one morning. And the gentleman at the fruit market who gives Remy a banana during our daily walk around the neighborhood. And just today, Susan, of whom I’ve only met a few times, picked Remy and me up for story time and then offered to let me run into the grocery while she waited in the car with all the kiddos (getting to the grocery is no easy feat here without a car). I could go on with more examples. Whether great or small, all of the kind gestures shared with us have shaped my views of this city and this season of us living in Amman. If I leave with anything I hope it is the ability to see opportunities for kindness. To give back what we’ve been gifted. It isn’t easy to move to an entirely new city where life appears very differently from an outsider looking in. But as I’ve slowly opened my eyes to all that’s happening around me, I’ve witnessed the beauty that comes from going out of your way to bring a little joy and comfort to others. To invest in another – friends and strangers alike – simply because they deserve to be loved and cared for without an expectation or need for something in return. To slow down my busy schedule and look for ways to serve my neighbor better than I have in the past. I’m learning that kindness is a language that connects us and comforts us when little else does.
PS: It’s interesting to note that eggs typically come by the dozens here, and they aren’t refrigerated. They are just sitting on a shelf in the grocery next to other dry goods. Here’s a great on why the US chills its eggs and most of the world doesn’t. When we had eggs from our yard we didn’t put them in the fridge. At first it was strange but now I don’t think twice about it!September 19, 2014