A Simple Act of Kindness
Monday was as many Mondays are for me – office, meeting, visit, funeral, visit and then home for supper. The stove was on and the fixings for supper were in the pan when my phone went “ding.” It was a text from a couple I had never met but with whom I had been communicating via text over the last few days. The message indicated a problem and that they needed help. I turned off the stove and headed out to deal with the situation. It took about 20 minutes and I was on my way home again. But in those 20 minutes my heart broke. Asking me for help was not easy for them and there were so many feelings bound up in our encounter. I did what I could do. As I drove home the tears began to flow – tears for them and tears of thankfulness as I realized, yet again, how truly blessed I am. I wish I could have done more. In the house, stove back on and another “ding” on my phone. This is what I read:
“We have never had anyone show us such an act of kindness. We have never been in the situation we have been in lately and its been feeling pretty hopeless.
We assure you that as soon as things turn around for us we will pay it forward. Thank-you is not enough! You restored our faith that things are going to get better.
We have never been in the position of having to ask for help but you went above and beyond what we expected”
A Simple Act of Kindness
As I read these words I was reminded of just how privileged I am. I have a roof over my head, food on my table and love that is immeasurable. What I offered to this young couple was not really that much and it did not cause me any hardship. The next thing that was highlighted for me was how powerful a simple act of kindness is. It can change a person’s being, bring a moment of joy or even restore faith. And really, isn’t that the true meaning of Christmas? We have within our grasp the power to bring light and love into even the darkest times.
Sitting at home with this experience resting in my soul, my mind was flooded with words from our ancient story:
“Whatsoever you do to the least of these my brothers and sisters you do it for me.”
“Do you love me? Feed my sheep.”
“Love one another as I have loved you.”
“Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.”
“Knock and the door will be opened for you.”
And again – is this not the real meaning of Christmas? We make our way to Bethlehem each year to experience the gift of love for the world. It is a love and a light that should affect our entire beings. Every person among us should know the peace and joy that is ours – free from undue burden, isolation, indignity….
My prayer for each of you is that you will never forget the power of a simple act of kindness –
smile at the person you meet on the street;
strike up a random conversation with the person in the grocery line behind you;
join a homeless person at the local coffee shop for a hot drink;
open the door for the person who is carrying too much;
invite someone without family to join you for supper;
be an ear to listen,
a hand to hold and a heart that cares.
Whatever it is, just do it and the Christ will be born and the light of the world will grow.