Friday, June 20, 2014

A missed chance for kindness

Usually, I feel blessed when I find money on the ground.  I found a 1965 dime the other day.  Wow, I thought, I bet it was sitting there a long time! I never really thought about whose it was before it was mine.  It was mine because I found it... wasn't it?  I suppose that works when it's a dime.  But what if it's more.  When does it belong to the one who lost it?  What if you found a hundred dollars?  Would you try to find the owner?  What if it was a thousand? 

We walked to the lake yesterday, it is just around the corner from where we are staying.  It was a beautiful day and many were there fishing and having a good time.  We poked around a bit. Then, as we were turning to leave, we came face to face with a little white pug.  He didn't bark or anything, just stood directly in front of us and stared. His master tried to get him to come but he seemed fascinated with us.  Finally she apologized and picked up the little guy explaining that he was basically deaf and though he knew some signs he often chose to ignore them. We laughed and joked about selective hearing.

She looked tattered and worn and she spoke with the raspy voice of one who had smoked heavily most of her life.  After picking up her little charge she planted him in the back of a very old Cadillac.  The man driving the car seemed gruff and unfriendly and I felt concern for her as she settled into the front seat. 

The car was in serious disrepair and it squealed loudly as it roared toward the street. We stood to watch them drive away when suddenly we noticed a pack of cigarets on the roof.  We moved to alert them but it was too late.  Off they roared and the pack of cigarets fell to the ground shortly after. The pack was there on the ground as we walked passed on our way back to the house.  We picked it up and there stuffed into an almost full pack of cigarets was forty two dollars! 

From the looks of the woman it might of been all she had in the world and I grieved for her.  We listened for a long time in hopes we would hear the car returning.  We went back to the lake to inquire of the others there if they knew who the woman was.  None had seen her before. 

We never saw or heard them return and so I have a pack of cigarets on my table with money stuffed inside. I don't want it because I know it doesn't belong to me. I suppose the only act of kindness I can offer her now is to pray.  I pray that she is safe and I pray that someday I will see her again and be able to give that money back to her.  I pray that the next time I see money on the ground that I will at least consider the one who lost it, no matter how small the amount.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Sharing acts of kindness

I think I am going to stick to this topic for a while.  I'm still pondering Luke 12:7  in the context of kindness.  If I knew that people were of huge value, (ya, I know they are but remind me when someone honks at me for going to slow!)  would I treat them differently?  Would I be kind?  I think it starts with understanding this passage."But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Therefore don’t be afraid. You are of more value than many sparrows." God numbers the hairs of your head like I numbered my children's fingers and toes.  He delights in His children... all of them.  I'm praying again with Brandon heath, "Give me your eyes." God help me to see people as you see them.  Help me to care.

I want to inspire everyone reading this blog to grow in showing kindness.  For that purpose I am sharing things I am starting to do.  Please, join the discussion.  Give me ideas, ways that we all could authentically walk in kindness. 


" And be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving each other, just as God also in Christ forgave you."

We got our first son when he was a teenager. I love him. He's awesome. He went into the Navy and served for several years.  Before that I had little experience with the armed forces.  After that, I realized the huge risks that are taken every day by our service men.  They have many reasons for joining but are quickly taught that risking their lives, is about protecting their country and the ones they love back home.  That's me... that's you. What an amazing act of kindness!

I travel a bunch.  Flying from airport to airport I see a lot of service men.  Many are in brand new fatigues and I'm thinking they have just started their journey.  When they come fresh out of boot camp they look kind of dazed and maybe a little lost. I can't imagine what each must be feeling, but I want them to feel appreciated.  So when I can, I look them in the eye and say, "Thank you for serving!" Some don't know what to do with me, but more often than not they perk up a little, smile and say, "your welcome!"



Monday, June 16, 2014

Man's inhumanity to man

Sometimes all the stuff going on in the world seems distant. It's not here.  It's not now.  But sometimes all of man's inhumanity to man is overwhelming and I cry to the LORD, "how long!" There once was a shooting at a high school and all the world was shocked at what happened there.  Two cold and detached young men killed a crowd of innocents...  and we asked how could this have happened? Since then there have been so many random acts of violence, we are no longer shocked... We just hope we are not the ones in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"Stop selling guns!" we cry.  But that doesn't address the problem.  I'm thinking of the mass stabbings that have happened where guns are harder to come by.  Or even the damage done by bombs made of crude, easy to purchase parts.  The problem isn't about people's ability to kill, it is about their willingness, even hunger to do so.  Please, somebody, tell me what is causing that?

People are precious, children are amazing!  Life is of more value than we could ever comprehend.  Luke 12:7 says, "But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Therefore don’t be afraid. You are of more value than many sparrows."  It's the truth... a very important truth. You are priceless! And so is the one standing next to you. That man who is disrespectful to you?  Ya, he has value.  The one that cut you off at the grocery store line?  She does too. Perhaps she just left her son at the cancer ward in the hospital and is trying to pick up some things to feed the rest of her family before returning. Perhaps she is too full of her own problems to care... Perhaps she just doesn't have a reason to care. Perhaps, if she knew someone cared, it would make a difference. I wonder, can we battle random acts of evil with random acts of kindness?  Perhaps it's time to try.

Today, I choose not to lose hope.  I choose to believe that good is way stronger than evil.  I choose joy, I choose grace, I choose life.  Today, I choose to be kind.

Please, let's talk about kindness.  Did you do something brave today that was a kindness to someone else?  Leave a comment.  Let's talk about it.