The Unexpected Kindness of a Stranger



A stranger’s kindness

birds appearing in the woods

unexpected gifts


Wendy ❀ 2015




At the end of December,

Ian and I were enticed by some sunshine

to go bird-watching at Lazo Marsh.

But when we arrived

we couldn’t see any feathered friends.

As we got closer to the water they appeared in the branches.




I’ve not been one to feed birds.

 I figure our garden is already bird-friendly enough

with its abundant supply of organic berries and seeds.

But I wished I’d brought some food with me

so I could lure those sweet little critters 

closer to my camera.




And that’s when the kindness of a stranger intervened.

A retired gentlemen approached us

 while I was struggling with my camera, timer, and tripod.

He stepped closer. “I can take a picture of you both.”

I smiled. “That would be wonderful.”




He pressed the shutter button. “I’ll take two just to make sure.”

He took another picture, and then he pulled a bag of seed out of his pocket. “Would you like to share some with the birds?”

I hesitated until I remembered how desperately I wanted some closeups

of the chickadees and juncos. “Yes please. Thank you.”




Ian chatted with the friendly gentleman

while I snapped a bunch of pictures

of  chestnut-backed chickadees, Steller’s jays

and whatever else stood still long enough.

I don’t like to keep my husband waiting too long,

so I took advantage of the situation.

~ ♪♫ Happy days are here again. ♫♪ ~

(Every once in a while I joined in their conversation

when they talked about current events.)




Eventually it was time to say goodbye to the kind gentleman.

 I pulled my attention away from the birds

and made eye contact with him. “Best wishes for 2015.”

His face brightened. “Thank you.”

And that was when I realized

we had been kind strangers to him too.

We had broken up his lonely day.




We have escaped like a bird

out of the fowler’s snare;

the snare has been broken,

and we have escaped.

Psalm 124:7




Blessings of Kindness ~ Wendy ❀




Have you recently been blessed by the kindness of a stranger?

Oh, do tell, if you have a minute to spare.



63 thoughts on “The Unexpected Kindness of a Stranger

  1. I enjoyed looking at all of these pictures of birds, and hearing about the fellowship you and your husband had with that kind man. Sometimes when I am shopping I have the nicest conversations with other shoppers. It really warms my heart.

  2. Such a beautiful account of friendship! Even with strangers, a friendship developes… so lovely, Wendy 🙂 The birds were just delightful to watch! Have a wonderful day. Love, hugs Iris

  3. These special birds are like little jewels amidst all the brown and cold of winter. So much more brilliant perhaps due to their subdued surroundings. Of all the things we passed along in our move closer into town several years ago, I think sitting working at my kitchen window and watching all my little birds and other forest friends are the only parts I really miss. You have done another kindness by sharing your beautiful photos and thoughts with all of us. Each one blesses and warms me in ways I didn’t know I needed. Today, I’m reminded that my heart needs for me to get out in nature a bit more in 2015. Thank you, Wendy, and blessings on your 2015.

    1. Dear Mary, thank you for your lovely and thoughtful comment. Getting out in nature is restorative, inspiring, and healing. Perhaps that’s why the bible mentions Jesus praying in a garden. Even having flowers on the dining-room table is a blessing. ❀

  4. What a great encounter, I think we miss opertunities to brighten someone’s day far to often. Makes we think about being a little more aware of people next time I’m out.
    Also, I’ve never seen a chestnut-backed chickadee!

    1. Gene, aren’t chickadees the happiest looking little creatures? They cheer me up on the dullest of days. I agree that we’re blessed and can be a blessing if we stay aware of others while we’re out and about. ❀

    1. Thank you, dear Wanda. Yes, getting out in creation is always a treat. Today I noticed the green shoots of snowdrops starting to poke through fallen leaves. Blessings for your 2015. ❀

  5. I find it interesting that you think the man was “lonely” because he was “alone”….when I go into nature I am always solitary and do my best to avoid other humans because this is the exact situation which I seek. 🙂 I actually feel lonely when I’m in a street full of people because I am socially inept…in nature it feels more like home and I feel like I’m actually welcome there despite my mental illness…the birds & butterflies don’t judge me. 🙂 Its Always good to be kind to anyone! 🙂

    1. I agree one should not assume a lone person is lonely. A close relative of mine (who is on the autism spectrum) purposely hikes in secluded places and at specific times to avoid crowds.

      There are days when I prefer to be alone too.

      And, yes, we are wise not to judge others and to always be kind. I wish for our society to grow more compassionate towards those who don’t behave the same as neurotypicals do. Too often they’re bullied just because they’re different. We all could learn some lessons from the nonjudgmental Spirit of creation. ❀ Blessings for your 2015.

  6. Wendy I am in heaven on this post, so many beautiful images, especially the blue bird. I would have been so happy if someone had offered to help me capture nature like this. Stunning pictures on a special day.

    1. Thanks Kath. I’m loving and appreciating birds more and more. Taking pictures of them has helped me notice how truly beautiful they are. I can see why you love to paint pictures of them, and you do it so well. ❀

  7. This was such a blessing! I love those birds and the kind stranger, and the kindness you shared as well! 🙂 We have been going to Chuck E Cheese a lot and Aub plays skeeball . Then we look for someone to give the tickets to and it is so much fun to see their faces light up. 🙂 Thank you, Wendy, for your kind and gracious heart!

  8. Well this is just wonderful Wendy and totally brightened my morning! All those gorgeous photos, including the one of the two of you! I have certainly been blessed quite a few times, by the kindness of strangers; it is a wonderful feeling, and also to be the stranger who gives that blessing too, as were you when you had your conversation with the kind gentleman. A lovely warming story, especially in what seem to be such troubled times in the world. If only we could all just be kind; if only it was that simple… X

    1. Christine, your words remind me that we also miss out when we hold back kindness. Yes, “If only we could all just be kind.” The credit goes to the stranger for my post. I was feeling introverted that morning and had to pull myself away from the birds in order to engage with him. So glad I did. Hugs dear poet friend. ❀

  9. Wendy, like you, I have come to love and appreciate birds more since we moved here. Seeing bluejays and chickadees have become part of our daily lives, I’m happy to say, and seeing your gorgeous photos fill my heart with joy.

    Love the pic of you and Ian too. <3

    Jennifer xo

    1. Thanks, dear Jennifer. xo I just peeked at your latest post—wow! I love your neighborhood. Now I’ll head back over there and let you know what colour my January is (How come spell-check says our Canadian spelling is wrong–eh?) 🙂

      1. Gladly, Wendy. Have I ever told you that I love your sub-title, “My faith is not shallow, because I’ve been rescued from the deep.” Makes me smile 😀

      1. You are welcome! How is your weather doing out there? We had a surprisingly mild day yesterday, but we’re a few months too early for crocuses and daffodils!

        1. It’s been an especially mild winter–so far. After days of gloom we were blessed with some sun and rainbows on the weekend. My snowdrops are beginning to poke their green noses up through the leaves. I’m glad you’re having a gentler winter than last year.

  10. I love your blog! I love the bird phots (birds were created on the fifth day; Adam on the sixth day). You might like my recent post on “The Sabbath.” Please check it out and let me know what you think. Please have a blessed day.

  11. It doesn’t seem like much. Just a gentleman at the Walmart on Thursday who stopped and gestured for me to go ahead of him in the checkout line; and he did it with a smile.

    Warmed the whole rest of my day.

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