From Random Act of Kindness to Grace Bomb

In a period of five years, four children in my life battled cancer. In June of last year, one of those children went home to be with God at the age of twelve. For some time, I had felt called to serve children with cancer and their families but was sporadic in my attempts to get started. However, it was in the moment I learned of this child’s passing that I made a promise to her to do better, to do more. I researched ideas, but really had no idea where to start. Ironically, twelve days later a suggested page appeared on Facebook, Team Ella, for a child named Ella who had recently been diagnosed with cancer. Still emotionally raw, I hesitantly clicked like to follow the page. Over the year and a half that I have followed the page I have been inspired not only by Ella’s bravery, but by her and her family’s strong calling to serve others during such a tough time in their own lives.

A few weeks ago, I read a post on the page that Ella was collecting toys to distribute to children on the oncology floor at Children’s National. I felt the calling to do something special for Ella. Afterall, she has been an inspiration for me to keep finding creative ways to serve children with cancer and their families, even when it was tough to do so. I quickly found teddy bears whose shirts could be customized. I had the bears in my cart ready to be ordered and imprinted with, “Happy Holidays from Ella!” I even had my credit card information keyed in to pay for the 25 teddy bears. That’s when the fear set in. I thought about it logically. I probably shouldn’t spend the money this close to holidays with several big expenses looming. She already seems to be getting plenty of toy donations, so she probably doesn’t need more toys anyway. And of course, I don’t even know Ella and her family. 

On Thanksgiving I was still feeling called to order the bears yet conflicted about doing so. When I logged into Facebook that evening a new post from Team Ella appeared. It was an announcement that Ella had started her own foundation, the EllaStrong foundation. It was in that moment I knew I had to act. I retrieved my order, changed the imprint to read, “Happy Holidays! EllaStrong Foundation” and clicked to submit the order.

When the bears arrived, it was time to drop them off to Ella’s father’s company. I walked in the door with the awkwardly sized box full of bears and was greeted by a woman at the front desk. I told her I was there to drop off a donation for the toy drive. Before I could stop her, she phoned Ella’s father and he was on his way down to collect them. My intention was to just leave the bears, but I’m so glad I was presented with the opportunity to meet Ella’s father, Brian. Upon seeing the bears, he invited me into his office because he wanted to show me something. We chatted for a few minutes and he handed me a Grace Bomb card. He told me the idea behind the cards and I was immediately intrigued.

What Brian didn’t know was that lately I have been feeling overwhelmed. I’ve performed many random acts of kindness over the past few years. I’ve also encouraged many others to perform random acts of kindness. However, lately they seem to make such little impact in a society that often seems so cold and rushed. Also, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when working with/advocating for children with cancer and their families. It often feels that no matter how much you help, there’s so much more that needs to be done. I would sit in church and be inspired by the message, yet by Monday felt there was so little I could do to share God’s grace with others.

For the past week I have given great thought and had much discussion around the concept of Grace Bomb. Brian and the Grace Bomb resources I have found online have led me to some new understandings. I now realize that I am one of a sea of grace-built people here to grace bomb people. If I have the courage to act when I feel the calling to serve others, God will handle the heavy lifting. God will do His work through me, so long as I choose not to ignore His call. My random acts of kindness are evolving to His Grace Bombs. This allows me to not have to worry about whether I am fulfilling my promise to the child in my life. My promise to her is irrelevant because God has already fulfilled His promise to her. My job is simply to Grace Bomb when called upon. It’s not about me, it’s not about her, its’s about God, and He’s always able to do more than enough. Thank you, Brian for the Grace Bomb and being the messenger God used to deliver a timely and urgent message.