Some people (experts) say that completing five random acts of kindness per week can increase your life span (by how much, I don't know). It's a difficult task when you think about it. After all, humans are naturally selfish sinners due to the fateful acts of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. But of course, if you go further into history, God sent his only son in human form to die on the cross for our sins. And going backwards, we are innately good, we were made in God's image after all. So, it's difficult ...but it's not. It's just plain complex!
During this Christmas season (and throughout all seasons for that matter), the media, facebook and nearly everywhere else you turn has people are speaking of hate, violence and cruelty. I've often found myself overwhelmed with sadness with what is happening in this world and can't hardly stand to read facebook or listen to the news. Especially where Lallie is concerned.
And then I dig a little deeper, looking for that small headline at the bottom of the news webpage and find the simplest and most random acts of kindness. So simple, yet I'm nearly brought to happy tears. You know that feeling, the one where your stomach quivers and your heart warms? Here are a few I've experienced as of late, both through personal experience and from hearing from others.
From Facebook (a shared photo) - A Home Depot worker helped a young autistic boy obtain a washing machine display because the little boy loved it so much and would always look for it when visiting the store. For some reason, this little display helped keep him calm and controlled his outbursts. One particular Home Depot employee went out of his way to make phone calls to obtain this machine for this child, making him a very happy boy (and family). The employee was thanked publicly on facebook (as was Home Depot).
From Facebook (personal friend) - The person in front of her at Dunkin Donuts paid for her coffee (unknown person paid).
Personal experience - I ran my first 5K this past weekend. I ran it in just over 40 minutes. 15 minutes after I completed, I was leaving and saw the same Junior League member that greeted me at the finish line standing in the same spot. I asked her why she was still there and not hanging out with the rest of the crowd. She said "I'm waiting for the police officer to finish the last round, if there is one runner left, I don't want them to arrive un-welcomed and without someone cheering for them."
It is these stories and many more that nearly bring me to tears quite often. Unblemished kindness through normal people throughout this world making a big difference in other's lives, even through the smallest of kind acts. And it makes me wonder why so many preach and publicize hate and don't boost up those that are kind hearted? Why do we really have to DIG for the good? Why do acts of kindness have to spread across the country before they are recognized (like the K-Mart layaway situation last year, where people would randomly pay for other's gifts on layaway)? As we all know deep in our hearts (and it's sometimes hard to believe), there is WAY more kindness and goodness out there among people than hate. For every one person causing major turmoil, there are hundreds more there to lift the victims and families up. For every country going through traumatic situations and wars, there are WAY more charitable groups giving time, effort and money to assist. For every one person going through a tough divorce, family loss or whatever, there is an entire group praying for that person. Yes, Virginia there is a God and he's ever present among us daily, even when we can't see it.
So I remembered a verse in the Bible that gives me a little hope and comfort this season when trying to look past all the hate in this world and remember the kindness. It doesn't explain why people like to publicize and glamorize the bad things but it certainly gives me a little peace in trying to understand why things are the way they are.
“Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Matthew 6 :1-4
And that my friends is what I will continue to hold dear and pass onto Lallie. That kindness, goodness and wonderful acts are being done on a daily basis by many people all over this world and are going unrecognized (at least by people but certainly not by God!) God has instructed us through the Word to not boast ourselves in such acts. Of course, that doesn't mean we can't boast on their behalf, which I thoroughly plan on doing whenever I run across the simplest of acts from now own. After all, we are commanded to spread the Good News! And what better way to spread such Good News but through people acting in God's likeness every single day, especially now during this Christmas season.
Happy Thursday Y'all!