Acts of KindnessBy Pamela Williams
|Photo by Dreamstime|
Today I read a devotion on how and why we should focus on one word and one Bible verse for one year. The goal is to simplify our lives since so many areas in our lives have long lists of things to do. The devotion gave the top ten words people like to choose. Words like, peace, discipline, focus, joy and trust were a part of the top ten. These are excellent words that are greatly needed so that we can live a better life. However, most of these words make a way to live within our own worlds... sometimes even making it comfortable to live within our minds.
The one word I did not see on the list was kindness. I guess even in rebuilding ourselves we look to get benefit from making a change. Joy and faith, or surrender and trust can put a positive spin on what goes on in our heads and hearts. We feel better. We live better. But kindness is a little different. Kindness can offer more than that.
Kindness involves providing a better place for another person to live within their world. It requires that we give of ourselves to others and risk getting nothing in return from the recipient.
What's interesting about spreading kindness is that it moves us outside of ourselves, outside of our comfort zone, out of our problems and into someone else's reality. And just like a pin touches a balloon and causes it to burst; so kindness touches the heart of a person and can cause refreshing moments to burst into reality... and sometimes one kind act can change a person's whole day or even a person's whole life.
Kindness is a gentle invasion into another person's world. Kindness leaves tracks of beauty and love in another person's life. Kindness can flip a person's day from dark to light.
That's what Jesus did. His whole ministry was centered on invading worlds of darkness, hopelessness and places where there was no love. He looked for those who were hurting, who never experienced love or those whose worlds had never seen the likes of kindness and just with a touch or a word, the kind acts of Jesus turned their world upside down. He delivered the very thing that bridged broken places and left tracks of beauty and love in their lives.
I think of Mary Magdalene and her struggles with seven demons inside of her. One encounter with Jesus and they were gone. That one kind act of Jesus rearranged her world and made room for a Savior that redeemed her from a world of darkness, pain and confusion. One encounter and Mary could wake up in the morning with peace on her mind. No more confusing voices. No more searching for peace because with one act of kindness and compassion from Jesus, Mary encountered the Prince of Peace.
As a Christian, perhaps we can add a new action word to our life's vocabulary. Perhaps we can reach out like Jesus did and find others who are broken; others who are looking for a place of peace or love or joy. Perhaps with one kind word or deed, or maybe even a prayer given as a gift of kindness, God can use us to rearrange someone's world. Perhaps they can encounter the Prince of Peace or the very essence of love, which is God Himself through one deed of kindness.
Here's the kicker. though. When we invade someone else's world with kindness, the very nature of our own world changes too. It helps to cope with the burdens in our own world. When a person responds to kindness with a smile, then we can't help but smile too. In other words, the blessing of kindness boomerangs and comes back to us with a purposeful joy and adds meaning to our lives. Remember when I said that kindness moves us outside of our world? It is in these moments that kindness boomerangs and blesses us and changes the world in which we live.
Kindness is like a bridge that we build into another person's world and God uses that bridge of kindness to deliver a virtue such as love, peace or joy. And in these moments, God can reach their hearts and abide with them and turn their whole world upside down. Yes, if we focus on only one word today or for the entire year, why not add kindness to your life's vocabulary. Why not let God use you through acts of kindness.