I had poured a lot into our group, and it had grown so that I could no longer keep tabs on all of its members. This is the point at which God moved our family. We left with a large, framed heart, a beautiful gift from the group. It’s was matted with a thick white border that was covered with dozens of handwritten notes and blessings, signed with Sharpies. It still hangs in our library, and I absolutely can’t glance at it without a whimsical smile, and a prayer for the group that still continues to this day.
There are times when kindness provides the air that revives someone’s heart and soul.
5 Very Kind Things to Do
1. Gather thoughts of appreciation and good will. The framed heart is an example of this labor of love. An enlarged, matted and framed photograph, symbol or note of appreciation can provide the canvas for gathered messages from a larger group of people. Remember autograph books from grade school? You can also collect a favorite printed cell phone shot from people and gather them in a little photo album, or collect notes and bind them in a small scrapbook. This is good for most occasions, but is even better “just because” or for a milestone.
God is great about reconnecting people at just the right time.
3. Do a hard thing with someone. Years ago I had to visit someone who was in an institution for a season. Visiting this person was very difficult. A thoughtful friend offered to go with me, and I took her up on her offer even though I knew it was probably harder for her to go than it was for me. Her presence was important because the whole situation was very upsetting. When I look back, I understand that her kindness cost her, but she went because she put my needs before her own. This is true kindness.
Jesus says in Luke 6:31, “And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.” This has traditionally become known as “The Golden Rule.” It’s not always easy. It may mean missing sleep, being uncomfortable, or tolerating hard-to-tolerate things and conditions. But it’s beautiful. We should consider doing things that we may automatically rule out. Reconsider when your first thought is "I don't..." or "I can't...." Then we are stretched. Wisdom comes from such experiences.
Are you meant to be someone who does this type of thing? Ask God.
5. Make a phone call. This is one of the most inexpensive and easy things to do, but very few people actually do this, even when we all carry phones everywhere we go. There are many people who can’t readily leave their homes, especially in bad weather, who would love hear from you. Did they miss church? Fill them in on what happened. Just let the person know you are thinking of them and praying for them. Ask them what you can pray for and show an interest in their lives. This is classic, heart-felt kindness, and for many people, it has gone out of style. Resurrect it in your life and truly bless people who may feel forgotten.
Sometimes we need to make time to be kind. Not all opportunities to give of ourselves with love and kindness are convenient. The Holy Spirit is amazingly creative, and knows just who would be blessed by your efforts. Just ask. He’ll delightedly show you, and you and the recipient of your initiative will both be blessed!