In the Flow with Healing Waters


Make a difference


We can all recall a certain someone that made a difference in our lives. Sometimes it’s the littlest gesture, an act of kindness, a comment or a simple smile that can make a difference for someone. 

I have several people that come to my mind when I think of those that have impacted my life. I’m going to tell you about one in particular. 

When I was 18 yrs old, my circumstances were unusual and I was living by myself in a lower level of a house that had been made into an apartment. I was working full time and living paycheck to paycheck so when things happened unexpectedly, like my car needing repairs, I would struggle financially. I worked at a drugstore at the old St. Croix Mall and within the mall there was a store called Montgomery Wards. They had a car repair shop and that is where I met Lloyd Potter, the man that made a difference in my life. To my knowledge, he wasn’t a mechanic, but he was the one that everyone talked to when making an appointment and he was the one to pay after the repairs had been done. 

So when my Chevy Nova Hatchback needed repairs, I took it to Montgomery Wards where I was met by Lloyd. He recognized me because I worked in the mall, but we didn’t know each other. I explained that my car needed fixing and my financial situation. He listened and then in a very quiet voice so no one else could hear, he gave me an option to pay what I could, when I could. I think the bill was around $400. I was so grateful and couldn’t believe that he was willing to work with me. He didn’t put a monthly dollar amount on what I needed to pay or even a due date that it had to be paid by. This made me a little nervous because there wouldn’t be a monthly bill that was reminding me to pay it. I could’ve skipped out on paying my debt, but he trusted me. I didn’t want to let him down and I thanked him several times. 

I don’t remember how long it took me to pay the debt, but I remember being in the Hallmark store and looking at something that I wanted but didn’t need. I saw Lloyd walk by in the mall, but he didn’t see me. I put the item down and remembered I had a bill to pay before I could buy the item at Hallmark. These are the lessons I learned from Lloyd’s act of kindness. 

The immense impact that an act of kindness has.

Be honest about your circumstances.

The true feeling of gratitude.

Be disciplined in your agreement.

Always pay your debts.

How can I make a difference in someone else’s life?

Many, many years passed and I would randomly think of Lloyd and his kindness with very fond memories. During those years,I wondered if he truly understood how his kindness impacted me. Well, one day, I was at Wal-Mart and as I was leaving, I noticed a man sitting on a bench inside the store. He looked frail and there was something familiar about him. I walked by him and as I passed him I realized it was Lloyd! I stopped, turned around, and went over to him. I sat next to him on the bench and said, “Are you Lloyd Potter?” He said, “Yes.” I told him my name and how I knew him. He remembered me and said he was happy to help me out. He told me of his failing health and I got the impression that he was very ill. I was able to thank him one more time and we shared a little hug and I had a few tears in my eyes as I walked away. Shortly after that encounter, I learned that Lloyd had passed away. 

I felt so grateful for being in the right place at the right time and to see Lloyd sitting on that bench. I was so happy to let him know how his act of kindness made such a deep and impactful effect on me. 

Who has made a difference in your life? 

I encourage all of you to go out and make a difference to someone. What may seem like a simple thing to you might mean the world to someone else. We don’t know what others are going through. 

Be kind, listen for what is needed, be watchful and be thoughtful in the flow.