Friday, July 09, 2010

Kindness Arrives in Many Ways-July 9

In any home, when a kind woman buys the groceries, cooks them up, stores the leftovers, that home becomes blessed because she extends benevolence and care towards those living under the same roof. Most women don’t expect a constant “thank you.” They are pleased with a little help now and then. I’ve never heard of a husband being shot while doing the dishes. It’s the little things that count.

Within the framework of kindness, let’s consider those little things that count in everyday life. Those generous unexpected acts that other people do for us, when we’re least expecting a favor. Kindness is among the list of intrinsic values of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22.

Almost everyone has granted kindnesses and received many. Three things stand out in my memory as unexpected acts of loving kindness. One time when I had flower beds, my mother showed up and sat on the St. Augustine grass and weeded three gardening areas. I don’t even have flower beds anymore because of rascally weeds, but back then -- before I knew about blooming perennials and Texas native plants -- I had too many flower beds for a working woman and mother of children. My mother’s sacrifice of time lingers with a sweet fragrance.

On another occasion with Thanksgiving nearing, I was in the process of striping wallpaper from three huge rooms. If you’ve ever scored wall covering with a utility knife, sprayed it with warm water, and then scraped from the floor to the ceiling you know how much energy that takes. My gauge was low to near empty. My friend knew what I was trying to accomplish in a short timeframe before we hosted the holiday dinner. She phoned one day to tell me that she’d just made her mother’s famous cornbread dressing for me. It’ll feed 25 people and can be made weeks ahead and frozen until Turkey Day. Oh my! I still remember Doris’ kindness.

On another day, my husband, Dave, had left for work, but soon I heard his truck rumbling into the driveway again. He walked in the back door, took my hand and led me outside, never saying a word. Then he pointed skyward. There draped across the storm-strewn sky stretched a vivid double rainbow.

I could name so many more acts of kindness—sweet notes from friends, crayoned pictures from children; surprise cookies, cakes, and pies; and my son-in-law, who now shows up to mow and trim around those perennials. But there are even other more subtle courtesies—a tip of the hat from an older Texas gentleman; a driver who waves me through a busy intersection; a store clerk handles a return happily; my friend Pat, who on a rainy day blesses it by saying, “Enjoy the moisture.”

Has your mind just exploded remembering the kindnesses you receive every day? If you want to make up your own list, include anything that fits these descriptions: considerate, thoughtful, compassionate, sympathetic, generous, or extends good will.

Of course the best name to put at the top of your list is God. All of the descriptions fit his openhandedness and bigheartedness toward us. Through dawn of day and an infant’s birth, all the way through sunsets and last breaths on earth, we “live and move and have our being” in God (Acts 17:28).

And the best kindness of God flows through Jesus to us in reconciliation. We are taken back and forgiven even after our sins have separated us from God (Isaiah 59:1-2).

Being kind isn’t all that difficult -- really. We have a heavenly Father who daily supplies us with the initiative to be mindful of others, and in addition he still lives out extreme examples of kindness. Want to be more kind to others, just think of all the acts of generosity toward you and present the same favors to your family, friends, and strangers.

From God’s hand, to yours, to someone else -- you can put a double rainbow in someone’s day.

1 comment:

  1. Isn't it really great how God's lovingkindness can be shown through relations and friends. God bless you and yours.