Every November when I drive by, I notice the grand announcement about 'Random Act of Kindness Day.' This year it will happen on Friday, November 9th. I think that is a wonderful thing, except it makes me sad.
I think it is wonderful because it perhaps makes students and those of us who notice the sign a little more attuned to the human condition and alert to finding ways to improve or delight in it. But it saddens my heart to think that we have to be told to do random acts of kindness or to have a special day to celebrate such.
I'm trying not to be a grumpy old bear but what has our world come to when we have to have a special day to remember to hold the door, or help someone with their groceries or to give someone an unexpected word of encouragement, a free coffee, a handful of change, a helping hand?
I know this is a big city concept so I am sure it is a good way to snag the attention of the busy and the indifferent. But still I find it sad in a way. I'm hoping no card makers or gift givers make a profit on this day or my soul will really be saddened.
A very sweet and dear friend told me once when I tried to find words and ways to pay her back for the many things she had done for me as I dealt with my battle with cancer. At my wit's end, she found a way to comfort and assure me. "Pay it Forward," she said. I love that concept. I could never ever pay her back for what she did for me but I certainly can find ways to pay her generosity and kindness forward. I seek ways to do just this. My friend was very wise.
Perhaps if we could find ways to turn Random into Remember, then daily life could be turned upside down for the better! Random, after all, is dictionary-defined as lacking any definite plan or order or purpose, governed by or depending on chance. In other words, haphazard. The way we treat people shouldn't come on a whim.
Okay, so I am retiring my grumpy bear attitude and have decided to focus on the true doer of random acts of kindness. I'm thinking that Jesus' acts of kindness were not so random. He didn't reach out haphazardly. He always had a way of connecting with the poor, the disenfranchised, the lost, the lonely, the hurting, the afflicted. His acts of kindness always involved meeting their physical needs and their emotional and their spiritual needs. He went far beyond conducting His life in a random manner.
I am thinking that as a Christ-follower, I better not just do random, haphazard acts of kindness. I should, like Jesus, be more concerned about relationship than religion. "Go...sin no more and don't tell people what I have done." No need for a Hallmark card to make an announcement. Jesus' one concern was that he made a person's life better. Shouldn't that be mine?
I guess the key is to remember to rely on the Grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit so that my acts of kindness can be less random and more filled with purpose and humility.