Allow me to go off topic here....
Today I was inspired, TWICE! and on the same topic! Being a yid is a wonderful feeling, but as the saying goes 'seeing is believing', and each time there is a Kiddush Hashem, it strengthens our Emunah & Bitachon and gives us such an appreciation of being part of the Jewish nation, it's just AMAZING.
Here's how it happened: I went out for supper and met this woman at the restaurant. I know her from around the area and different events, but I don't really know her on a personal level-as she's middle aged and most of her kids are way older than me and she doesn't live nearby or daven in my Shul. In any case, while waiting for our respective tables we got talking. She told me how unfortunately her husband died suddenly when she was in her mid-late twenties, leaving her with young children, toddler(s) and a not-yet-one year old. She explained how unfortunate it was was and how helpless she felt, but as time went on, she got tough. She took courses in business and taught herself 'tricks of the trade'. Eventually she got remarried, and B"H is doing quite well. She explained that no one expects to be in unfortunate situations. While everyone has plans in life and goals, e.g. getting married, having kids, becoming a doctor, getting a degree in speech, etc. no one plans for the unfortunate. What did she take from her situation? To help people who nebach, find themselves in the same circumstance, she calls widows, visits them, helps them get back on their feet. Even people who aren't widows, she speak to them and gives them Chizuk-telling them how she's BEEN THERE and DONE THAT and now look at her, happy, healthy, with children, grandchildren, B"H and teaching herself how to manage on her own! That's what I call turning a sad situation and a very low point in her life-into something productive-she feels good doing what she does, people can relate to her KNOWING that she understands them fully-and she literally helps them get back on their feet and show them there is good out there and we have to appreciate it!
HOW AWESOME IS OUR NATION, KLAL YISRAEL?!
The second circumstance happened whilst I was delivering a meal for Bikur Cholim. I deliver meals occasionally to homes, rehabs, hospitals, etc. a few times a week. Today I delivered a meal to a patient and whilst leaving the room, I saw a Frum family going to the patient's room. This Frum family had a trauma in the family and unfortunately found themselves day and night for months and months, perhaps even a year in the hospital. It became their home. The community took care of this family, the parents, kids, patients, etc. Meals, schoolwork, uniforms, Shabbos, visits to the hospital, sleeping over, etc. It was a true Kiddush Hashem even from the medical team and hospital staff how the family was NEVER left alone EVER, how the community took them as a family.
Anyway, this same family walked into the patients room-happened to have been at the same hospital on the same day that this patient was there (and that I was delivering so I was able to witness this) and offer them any assistance, be it driving, meals, etc. It was just sooo 'pay it forward' moment, but also, they've 'been there and done that' as well, so the patient felt at ease hearing it from someone who was there. A few minutes later, another frum person passed by, they too were volunteering a meal and came by to ask if this patient needed anything. 1 minute later 2 highschool girls showed up-they were doing a visit for Bikur Cholim and dropped by to see if anyone needed anything as they saw frum people. The nurse in the room just stared in awe-MA RABU MAASECHA HASHEM!
We are TRULY ONE BIG FAMILY! :)