KINDNESS MATTERS

I often can find myself overwhelmed by our hurting world. It doesn’t take long for you to encounter someone that is in need of assistance, a shoulder to cry on, a laugh or a dang big hug. And let’s not forget about the social media side of things where people are continually showing us their perfect and flawless angle on life that I think often can feed into others sadness. Whether we want to admit it or not, most of us compare our daily lives with those around us.

There is no doubt about it…I am a fixer. I hate to see others in pain, sadness, struggle, despair etc. I can find myself lying awake at night fixing others problems and taking them on as my own. It can seem like a daunting task that never makes headway. So of course the next course of action is usually feeling helpless or discouraged. My brain starts to tell myself there is nothing I can do to change people’s circumstances. And that I have found is one of the biggest lies from the Enemy. This world needs people to care, they need us to step out and do something, even if it is just a small random act of kindness. We each need to listen to that small, quiet voice that whispers guidance on how we can help. The more we listen to those whispers, I strongly believe, the more they are there.

I know you have had moments standing in line behind a struggling mother with an out of control toddler. You want to offer to hold something for her, to take the groceries out to the car or to simply entertain the fussy kid until her credit card is accepted. But then you pause and in the next split second you rationalize why you shouldn’t step forward. “I don’t want to offend her.” “I don’t want her to think I am a creep.” And on and on it goes. Before you know it the mom is walking out the doors and you breathe a sigh of relief so you don’t have to continue this conversation with yourself.

We each have memories when someone reached out a kind hand and just changed the course of our day. I’ve definitely had random acts of kindness bestowed upon me; a best friend who has dinner waiting in my house after returning from a late vacation flight, a lady in line handing me a coupon for me to use at check out, a random Mother’s Day present from a lender, a sweet text encouraging me that I do touch people’s lives daily and am walking my true purpose, a hug from my kids after a long day. Each of these moments are stored in my arsenal of blessings. I can visually tap into each moment and access joy. What each of these people didn’t know, and I probably didn’t even realize myself, was at that particular moment I needed exactly what they offered.

The Enemy wants us to feel overwhelmed about the world and for us to say the problems are too big for us to individually make an impact. Oh how he wants us to just simply talk ourselves out of small acts of kindness. To this day, I still find myself getting talked out of random acts of giving. What is my secret to staying out of the lie? I literally count to three.  1…2…3…NOW GO! DO IT! In those moments, when I listen to the whisper, I am quickly rewarded with a moment of gratitude.

As my family was eating breakfast one morning at a local diner, my son and I walked by a man wearing a veteran’s hat. I began to explain to my six year old the sacrifices that man and his family made over the years. Bam! A small whisper…buy his breakfast. I took my boy over to his table, thanked him for his service and my son stole his bill. The look on Landon’s face that he was going to buy a strangers breakfast was priceless. Buying this man’s breakfast wasn’t an idea of my own. It was a whisper that I chose to listen to. And when I began to tell myself about how awkward it was going to be, I simply said “1…2…3! NOW GO! DO IT!”

I have countless other examples of moments when reaching out to someone because of a whisper has changed that person’s perception of their day’s events. I had no idea how much they were hurting or needed a word of encouragement. You can change the world. It doesn’t take millions of hours or millions of dollars. I have found it simply requires me to get out of my own darn way!