The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

August 21, 2013

Sweet fellowship and a random act of kindness at Sweet Frog

Marina Shankle for the SNAP

Wednesday, August 21, 2013 — The weather has been hot lately, perfect weather for some frozen yogurt.

Last Saturday, after tutoring a student at Sylvan Learning Center, I waltzed into Sweet Frog for that very treat. I love the independence and creativity that place offers frozen yogurt fans. We get to choose any combination of flavors and toppings and choose how to proportion these tasty treats.

As usual, I went straight for the peanut butter and chocolate yogurts, mixing the two. I topped these off with peanut butter cups, peanut butter chips, hot fudge and hot caramel.

I walked up to the counter with my little cup of happiness, waiting to weigh it and pay for it. I set the cup on the scale and reached into my pocket book for my wallet.

“She said she’ll get it,” said the young man behind the counter.

I looked up and noticed the lady in line ahead of me. She just smiled at me.

I have no idea why she decided to buy my yogurt that day, but it was very sweet, and I said so.

After the lady paid for it — and I thanked her — I headed for an empty table, expecting to eat my treat alone, perhaps while reading the Dean Koontz novel I’d tucked away in my pocketbook (I take a book with me everywhere I go.).

But my new pal asked if she could sit and eat with me, and I said yes, delighted.

We had a nice conversation. I learned her name and where she is from, and we talked about Stanly Community College, where her daughter goes to school and where I went to school for a couple of years. She noticed my ring, so I told her about how I’d just gotten hitched.

Of course, we also discussed the finer points of frozen yogurt.

The dessert itself was an expected delight, but I had not expected it to be free, nor had I expected fellowship with a practical stranger. It was a nice surprise.

Moments like these are refreshing to the spirit, direct gifts from God, I believe.

Reading the news or watching it on TV can be depressing. Most of what I see there seems to be clear evidence of evil in the world. Some people are bad, and they do bad things.

But then someone like this new friend I made at Sweet Frog commits an act of kindness, and I am reminded that some people are good and do good things.

As I am a Christian, I believe the good guys win in the end, and that’s comforting.

But we haven’t reached that end yet, so I hope that God blesses that lady for her thoughtfulness in the here and now — and others like her who show unselfishness and compassion toward others. And I hope that I can follow her example and treat others with kindness.