I was sitting alone on my couch with my broken leg bound up like a mummy, swollen from recent surgery, bleary and woozy from painkillers.
It had not been…the best week ever.
I felt grateful that I’d broken my fibula and not my spine. Grateful to be alive. And also, lonely and a little nervous.
Nervous I would never be able to run or jog or dance again. Nervous that I would fall behind on work, that my income would suffer, which (as a self-employed person) I couldn’t afford to let happen. Nervous about so many things.
I lived at the top of a steep flight of concrete stairs with no elevator, which meant I was temporarily “trapped” in my apartment and couldn’t leave for a while. I didn’t have family nearby. My partner (at the time) was at work.
I was alone. All alone with my thundering thoughts, an unsettling place to be.
Then, a knock at the door.
It was my friend Justin. Coming by, just to check in and say hi.
And he brought me a sandwich.
The scent hit my nostrils and I realized: between the accident, the ER, the surgery, and all the meds, I hadn’t eaten a proper meal in days. That sandwich was gone very quickly.
He asked how I was doing. I answered honestly. I’m actually feeling pretty anxious.
Justin looked me straight in the eyes and said, “It’s going to be okay. I’m here for you. You have friends who care about you. We are going to help you get through this. And you will be stronger than ever.”
Justin visited for about 15 minutes and then left. I felt different than before. Calm. Steady. More hopeful.
It’s incredible what a sandwich and a few minutes of compassion can do for a person who is hurting and a little scared.
Justin’s tiny act of kindness changed my attitude and, really, changed my whole year.
Big actions are important.
Tiny actions are so important, too.
The call. The text. The moment of undivided attention. The hand to hold. The sandwich.
Tiny things create big ripples.
Go bring a sandwich to someone today. Or your own personal version of a “sandwich.”
It might make a huge difference.
It could change their whole day. Maybe even change their whole life.