Her quick smile masked a troubled heart. After several months of disgrace and shame, she was being allowed to return to her job.
It had started with a bad relationship growing worse. Her angry ex-boyfriend had threatened to post pornographic images of her on the Internet. Embarrassed at the prospect of being exposed to the world, she had broken into his house to find the disc containing her photographs.
After she was caught committing burglary, she was charged with a felony. When her employers found out, she was suspended from her job.
Her world had collapsed around her. She had been humiliated. Her secret had become public knowledge. She had lost her job and her dignity.
As far as she knew, her only future consisted of time in prison.
But then, she received a phone call. A Christian with whom she worked wanted to let her know that he and a few other believers were praying for her. He also let her know that his local church would be willing to provide some food and some help with paying a few bills. She cried.
Several months later, after having the charges reduced to a misdemeanor and being placed on probation, she was allowed to return to work. She found her co-worker and confided, "Before you started calling me and offering to help with your church, I was just about to give up. Then you called. I couldn't believe that you and your church would want to help someone like me. Nobody else even called to see how I was doing. Because you didn't give up on me, I began to feel like maybe God had not given up on me either. I don't know if I would even be here today if you hadn't called. I know I've made a lot of bad choices, but God has given me another chance and I don't want to blow it again."
Sometimes small acts of kindness can make a difference. "Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:16, NIV).