There is an old man that lives in the town next to mine. Often I find myself riding into that town early in the morning and I catch sight of the yellow reflective vest which brings a smile to my face because I know what is coming next. As I drive by I see him lift his hand and smile as he gives a big wave, there is nothing to do but wave back! I don't know how long he has done this traditional wave walk but what I do know is that this man brings joy to so many by simply waving hello. If I were honest I actually look forward to seeing him and eagerly keep a lookout for that yellow, reflective vest. I have actually begun to wave first. Such a simple act but one that brings such a wave of happiness to so many. As some may remember, I gave a two week kindness challenge last month. Let me just start by saying I struggled, there I said it, I confessed!! But I also learned something in those two weeks and I wanted to share it with you.
First, kindness does not come naturally. It is something that must be worked at and opportunities sought. When I took the two week challenge I had a list of things I wanted to do each day but you know what I found? That was easier said than done. I would get so busy with my day and consumed by the things I needed to get done that I almost forgot about the kind deed I wanted to do that day. Opportunities to be kind are usually not that obvious, they take work to uncover and require us to be on the lookout. It required me to take a break from what was consuming me at the moment and look around. The verse from Proverbs 31 kept coming to my mind throughout this challenge. "She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy." Prov. 31:20. This verse means that she looked for opportunities to be kind and helpful to those around her and this kindness challenge taught me to do the same.
Second, kindness does not need to be big or costly. Part of the challenge was to simply speak words of kindness, ones of encouragement and praise. To be kind does not need to involve money but it always involves time. Time is one of the most valuable possessions we own and it is ours to do with as we please. How I spend my time says a lot about the person I am and when someone chooses to give me some of their time it says a lot about how much they care about me. My birthday was a few weeks ago and a dear couple wanted to go out to eat with my mom and I to celebrate. Having them take time out of their busy day just to spend it with me meant the world to me. Taking time to write someone a note of encouragement or tell them how much they mean to you can make more of a difference than you will ever know. Taking the time to call someone to say hello can make such a deep impact on their day, even more than a text could. I believe we have fallen into a rut, one that involves us being consumed by our day to day that we have forgotten what it is like to stop and see the need around us. We have lost sight of what is truly important and what we are called to do. We have been called to be a light to the world and our light shines brightest when we reflect the love of our God.
Third, kindness needs to be exercised like anything else if it is to thrive. To be kind requires us to act. If we want to be kind we must make it a part of our daily life which means it needs to be exercised daily. Just like any other habit, we need to make a conscious decision to be kind today.
That old man I spoke of, he takes his walks with a cane and is out walking no matter how cold or hot it is. He may never realize how much joy his simple act of kindness does to the people who drive by but it does. It gives them a smile, one that may last for hours. So would you join him and take the time to wave hello and spread a little kindness today?
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I am just an ordinary girl who is loved by an extraordinary God and I seek to love others the same way. I love to bake, read, do puzzles, watch Hallmark movies, and go shopping with my mom! This blog was created as a place where I could share some thoughts that the Lord has shown me and to be an encouragement to others who desire to know Him in a deeper way. My prayer is to learn to sit still and trust God with my future.