I don’t know if you noticed how many of the things in my rethought list of “That’s life” were the kindness of others. Somehow I have been blessed with so many people who are kind to me and my little family. Sometimes it feels very unfair… like why don’t I suffer more rejection and sadness? I find that others often show me the way to actively care by the way they come alongside and help me carry my burdens. When you have received generous help to pay a big hospital bill, you never again think the same when the offering basket is passed for another. How hard is it to stoop and pick up a button? How strenuous is it to hold open a door with a genuine smile? What does it cost me to graciously wish the drive through attendant a lovely day, and mean it? A note in the mail takes 46 whole cents, and a local phone call takes no cents.
If I find myself waiting for the big chance to really make a difference, I need to stop and rethink that idea as well. Didn’t Jesus have something to say to that, like “Well done, you good and faithful servant: you have been faithful over a few things. I will make you ruler over many things.”
When I worked as a cashier many years ago, their were certain customers who made a big impression on me. They were the ones who actually saw me, who asked how my family was doing, and who really meant it when they thanked me for packing their groceries so well. Alexander McCall Smith said, “It takes so little to change the small space in which people live their lives.” That has become one of my favorite quotes.
I could think of dozens of times when someone spoke a word or sent a text or even just smiled encouragingly at me, and it lifted me right out of a struggle into a gracious Presence. If you feel even a tinge of prompting to bless another, no matter how small it may seem, JUST DO IT. Don’t think, “Oh well, they are probably doing fine. What will they think if I send them this note out of the clear blue?” And I have never heard of anyone who said, “Enough cookies, already!”
My brother told me this story. There was a grocery shower, so he went to the store, praying that God would show him just what the people needed in their cupboard. As he walked the aisles, he followed the promptings, whatever seemed impressed on his mind to put into the cart for the people needing the groceries. When they looked through the goodies, they exclaimed over and again that he had bought just the stuff they really liked.
Let me tell you another grocery story. My husband was terribly sick, unable to work, scheduled for surgery. I had a long grocery list hanging on the fridge. One day we came home and found a box on the porch. Friends, if I recall correctly, all but two of the items on my list were in that box. I know how it feels to be the one blown away by the kindness of God through the kindness of another.
So, I repeat, if you feel even a twinge of a suggestion to reach out to another, however little or even silly it may seem, do it! With practice you will become much more aware of the Spirit of God’s prompting. You will be astonished how often the kindness you showed comes back to you, multiplied.
So many of you have changed my small space. Thankyou.