Little kindnesses, doing things which most leave undone or even despise – these are the things that I have been contemplating this week. It all began with the wrapping of my arms around a sobbing child last Sunday. This little girl was having a terrible-horrible-no-good-very-bad day and her countenance showed it all. Her brows were lowered, her tones were raised and sulkiness had enveloped her whole being. My initial inclination was to use my grown-up-adult-voice to let her know that her attitude was getting her absolutely nowhere. I decided instead to humor and soften the child whom I soon discovered was weary and ill-tempered from the irritating discovery that the dog had peed in her bed in the middle of the night AND when she stepped out of bed she stepped into more pee AND she did not get any sleep because of it. So, by wrapping my arms around her and soothing her as she sobbed through all these revelations, her ill-temperedness dissipated. We prayed together. Simple kindness. She was happy after that.
The next day my friend told me of a neighborhood bully who had destroyed her grandsons’ fort. Instead of quarreling with this neighborhood bully, the grandsons deprecated the quarrel by knocking on his door and telling him they wanted to be his friend. Although he boys were angry that this young man had destroyed their fort they chose kindness over anger. They asked him if he would like to help them rebuild the fort. He did. His life has most likely been changed forever because of their kindness.
Yesterday, while waiting to have a medical procedure done under sedation, a nurse smoothed my pillow and wrapped me in a warm blanket. She asked if there was anything else she could do to make me more comfortable. Kindness. A doctor passed the cubicle my bed was in several times and smiled at me every time he walked by. He wasn’t my doctor so he didn’t have to do that. Kindness. Their kindness alleviated my anxiety and helped me to relax. I smiled back. They were probably used to divining what patients felt as they waited for their allotted time slot. They knew a radiant smile would lighten a heart heavy with concern.
I read about kindness again this morning in my Bible.
“Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32
So, I’ve got kindness on my mind another day. I’ll put a smile on my face and delve them out to whomever I encounter. Smiles are free. I think I will even go ahead and get all the trash collected in my house today and put it in the garbage pails so that tomorrow, when my husband goes to do it he will find that it has already been done. While I’m at it, I might as well tackle the ironing along with the budget book. I guess while I’m at it I might as well make some home-made cinnamon rolls for him. If I can get all these things done then I think I will not be the only one smiling in this house.