"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God." 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV)
I heard the story of a mother who was growing weary of her children asking for things when she took them shopping with her. She wanted to teach them to be grateful for what they already had and to realize that there were many people who were truly needy. So she came up with the idea to allow them to choose one item each time they were with her. The item was one can of food. Any can of food they wanted to choose that day. Then, after they were purchased, they would place their cans in the food bank barrel by the door. The children loved this activity and ceased asking for things for themselves when they were in the store.
Everyone we meet has a story and everyone we meet has a need. Just like this mother was teaching her children, so we need to be mindful of those around us. We may never know what is happening in the lives we encounter, but we can make sure that whatever impact we have is positive.
When I was in college, I had the opportunity to travel with both a drama group and the concert choir. When we spent the night with church members in whatever city we were in, we were told to make sure we left our accommodations as nice as, or nicer than, they were when we arrived. This was basic gratitude and respect. In the same way, we need to share the love of our Father in Heaven by sharing the same kindness and compassion with which He graces our lives with those we come into contact with.
How does it make you feel if the person in front of you in line to buy coffee pays for your order? I hope you have experienced that. I have and I can tell you it truly blesses me. That random act of kindness lifts my heart and makes me smile. Have you ever had someone walk up to you and ask your name then say, "I just want to say a prayer for you today"? That has happened to me on a couple of occasions. It makes me feel like God has reached out with a special "I love you" message.
When we take the time to notice those around us, we are telling them that they are important. The love of the Lord is to be shared, not just stored up for our own personal good. Whether in person or on social media, our encounters with others need to count. Kindness is free and it only takes a moment to share. We may never know what impact it makes, but we all need it.
I pray that your life will be full of moments of blessing this week and that each of us will remember to reach out to those around us and be blessings to them. Small seeds of kindness can produce unbelievable results. God bless.