Monday, August 1, 2016

A Little Kindness Goes a Long Way

Yesterday, while speaking to a visitor and her daughter at our 55+ community, I asked if she was married or single. She immediately teared up and said she was a recent widow. I knew what she was feeling and I told her so. After my husband went to heaven, I weighed my options on keeping my 3,600 square foot home or make a move to a smaller home and simpler lifestyle. The man who was marketing this community, asked me the very same question. And, like this precious lady, I teared up when I said I was a recent widow. His words were so kind as he said, “I know how you feel. My wife passed away three years ago.” Yesterday, I was able to comfort this visitor. That reminds me of the scripture in 2 Corinthians 1:4 “That you may be comforted with the same comfort that I have been comforted with.”

Kindness. A word that we could sure use a lot more of these days. I’ve known kindness in action. Different ones who knew my husband will come to me and say “I remember when Ron said……” or “I still carry the ‘hope’ rock he gave us in our Bible Study” or “He had the most beautiful head of hair” or “He always had a good word to say.” They comforted me then, and now, when they remember him to me.” They are being so kind.

I sincerely want to be the person who encourages. I want to be acutely aware of the needs of others.

I know what it is to witness so many levels of suffering that I didn’t know or even relate to before I walked alongside my sweetheart in his battle against cancer, and eventually his graduation to heaven. As I reflect back, I am reminded of kind words spoken to me and how God used them as healing ointment for my soul. I consistently clung to God for strength, but it was the encouraging words, the delicious home-cooked meals, the calls, the support and offers to help us, was like a shelter in the midst of our raging storm.

Today, six years later, those kind words still comfort me and bring me solace. When, at church, I would speak or give the scripture readings, my sweetheart would always pat my hand or hug me when I returned to my seat and he'd whisper "Good job!" Today, friends who remember that, are on point when they hug me and say “Good job”. They know I need those words of encouragement. I know it's a little wimpy sounding, but oh the breath of fresh air when those soft, spoken words hit my ears. Those kind words have been like kisses from heaven.

I am forever grateful for those who have spoken grace and encouragement into me. My mind is flooded with examples as I am sure you can reflect on encounters from your own life where a kind word ministered more deeply than the speaker could have ever imagined. Those kind words from others have caused me to realize that every day I have the opportunity to let kindness pour out from me. I want to be the person who is sensitive to God’s prompting when He nudges me to be kind and to speak kindness into the life of another.

In the words of Glen Campbell’s old song, maybe we should all “Try a Little Kindness”:

You've got to try a little kindness yes show a little kindness.
Yes shine your light for everyone to see.
And if you'll try a little kindness and you'll overlook the blindness,
Of the narrow minded people on the narrow minded streets.