Kindness is a powerful thing. It’s found in the little things of life; a warm smile, an open door, a word of encouragement. The act seems small as you share it, but its impact is far reaching. Kindness can be a life raft for someone flailing in rough waters, the reason to hang on, the reassurance that all is not lost. How can you show kindness today?
The seeds of good deeds become a tree of life; a wise person wins friends.
Proverbs 11:30 – NLT
Words have power. They can drag us down or lift us up. Words can destroy or delight. A few words can change a life.
On an October day 26 years ago, four simple words changed the course of my life. Four words uttered by a not so nice doctor from the other side of a dimly lit room. Four words said flatly, with no emotion, with no thought for the impact they would have. Four words thrown to the air without a care for where they would land. “You are legally blind.”
Another four words followed, flying through the air and crashing to the floor. The bomb exploded, torrents of razor sharp glass raining down on me. “You shouldn’t be driving.”
Just four words, and life was forever changed. But life was not lost because more words were spoken. They were spoken by kind and generous people whose hearts were heavy for me. They were spoken by friends and neighbors whose caring thoughts spawned gracious acts of kindness.
Four words held hope, instead of despair. Four words released me from the chains of my captivity. Four words opened the door to move forward, offered the opportunity to shape a new kind of life. “You need a ride?”
The words were spoken by work colleagues, heretofore casual acquaintances who heard about my plight and opened their hearts as well as their car doors. They went out of their way to pick me up and drop me off, making the 30 mile commute back to work possible. Without their acts of kindness, my nursing career would have likely ended 21 years sooner.
Those same four words have been offered countless times by my girlfriends; on the end of the phone line, in the church hallways, a text message displayed on a phone screen. From choir practice to church meetings to social events, my friends never fail to ask that question. If plans are made, part of the plan is who will pick up Anita. All I have to do is mention a need, and one or more of my friends or neighbors will offer transport.
For 26 years, kind people have opened their arms and their cars to help me and my family. They have taken their time, gone out of their way, used up their gas, all just to help me.
I sit here at my computer pondering the wealth of friendships I am blessed with and the outpouring of love I have received from all these gracious people. I remember all the words of encouragement spoken on all those car rides, all the reassuring smiles that made accepting their kind offers of rides a bit easier for a self sufficient young woman who had suddenly lost her independence.
What words can I offer to express the heartfelt gratitude that I feel every day for the countless acts of kindness I have received? How can I communicate fully the degree to which their generous offers saved me from a life of resentment and regret? How can I tell them that in their sweet smiles, their precious words, I have seen God at work? For as they gave their time and love to me, they have been the hands and feet of Jesus in my life.
Two words are all I have. They seem to pale in comparison to the gratitude I feel, but I will say them anyway. “Thank you!”
May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace. Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God.
Philippians 1:2-3 – NLT
O Lord God, thank You! Thank You for taking our hard things and working them for good. Thank You for Your people who hear Your call and respond with acts of compassion and caring. Thank You for the privilege of helping others for in so doing, we make life beautiful. Words have power to help and to heal. Lord, transform our hearts that we might see the needs around us, and like my friends have done so faithfully, respond to the needs with kindness, compassion and generosity.