For those who really know me, know that my least pleasant thing to do is shop. Yes, you read it right. While I prefer not to shop, my perspective is changing. What started as little nudges from God last year, is now a part of my faith journey. I never realized until now, until this year and this thing I’m doing, how much a gesture might mean to someone. A gesture that just comes out of the blue from someone who doesn’t know them. I’m beginning to learn that this resolution is one I will not break.
What if there was something you could do that could positively influence others and change your life in the process? Sometimes it’s not just a simple coincidence. What slowly starts as cultivating random acts of kindness, good things begin to happen. I stimulated my faith journey by acting on those nudges from God, to draw me into action by praying for strangers.
Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:10-12
This act of kindness isn’t for everyone. Because I love to make conversation with anyone, even someone I know nothing about, something happened along the way. While I am not compelled to ask a stranger if I can pray for them, I do open my heart to the human condition, caring in a new way and sometimes choosing not to. It’s not every day. It’s not for everyone. It’s not every conversation. As much as I love to talk that would consume an entire day at the grocery store, gas station, restaurants, church, and events! My husband laughs telling these strangers “I wish my wife would come out of her shell someday.”
I never imagined that this act of kindness would touch a few lives. There is one stranger I will never forget. On the last day of 2017, it started by graciously allowing her to get back in line at check out. She thanked me with a faint smile. I was then determined to make her feel like she was not forgotten. To make sure she knew she mattered. I don’t remember the specifics prompting of our conversation, but what I do remember is what happened next in the parking lot.
She approached me from her vehicle and asked me “Hey, what is your name?” With a brighter smile, she continued telling me “You don’t know me, you don’t know what I am going through. You have no way of knowing that I almost didn’t make it out today, but I will never forget your name.” For once, I was speechless. Tears strolled down our faces. I asked her name and if I could pray for her. This stranger was now known to me without knowing her story. She didn’t need to say a word. What started as a random act of kindness just changed my life forever. I am so grateful I didn’t miss out on this opportunity to brighten someone else’s day.
Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart. Proverbs 3:3
God has something powerful to show you through your acts of kindness. Just maybe… joy waits for all those who cry, all those who hurt, all those who have searched, and all those who have tried, for only they can appreciate the kindness extended to them. Not everyone can ask to pray for a stranger. Every act of kindness is a huge gift. One size fits all. It can be given for any occasion and it’s easy for them to exchange. Love is the only thing that can be divided without being diminished.
God wants us to be there for one another. This is what love requires of us.