Acts of Kindness
We should scatter kindness like the seeds of a dandelion puff blown in the wind. Let them settle on those around us even if we never know the impact they might have on the person's life. The results might be visible later, just like the yellow of dandelions blooming again where the wind blows the seeds.
Bonnie Ware writes, “I have always felt that kindness is love made visible.” Tara Cousineau Ph.D. writes, “Kindness is love in action.” These quotes remind me of the commands of scripture in Colossians 3:12-14, one of my favourite passages on what living as a Christian should look like.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly
loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
And over all these virtues put on love which binds them all together in perfect unity”.
What an amazing wardrobe that never goes out of fashion. Acts of kindness show compassion and to do them means living patiently and being gentle. There have been many instances of love in action through kindness in my life but one stands out.
For six weeks my broken knee had limited my mobility and the ability to do things for myself. Crutches and I didn’t get along very well and the icy winter sidewalks outside kept me indoors. Doing simple, everyday tasks, proved difficult while holding on to the crutches for stability and to keep any weight off the broken limb. I needed to rely on the help of others for every area of daily life.
One day a good friend offered to come over and look after my feet, certain I had asked no one to do this for me. I reluctantly accepted her help. She arrived and promptly began the evening by bringing a basin of warm water to soak my feet. After that she sat at my feet and patted them dry with a softness that would not aggravate the injured leg. She clipped and filed my toe nails. But that was only the beginning of her kindness. She continued to pamper me by adding coats of polish to beautify my long-neglected toes.
My friend’s act of service reminded me of Jesus washing his disciples’ feet in John 13. He, their teacher and their Lord, took on a task reserved for the household servants. He taught in words and by example how they should treat each other. In Philippians 2:3 & 4, Paul reminds us “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit rather in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.”
It felt strange and almost wrong to have my friend sit at my feet for over an hour so she could look after my feet. Yet we visited, shared from our hearts, and prayed together during that time. My friend’s servant heart, her example, and the verses from scripture challenged me to look for needs others might have that I would have the ability to do and by doing so, serve them. Some of these tasks might be ones often forgotten about, but appreciated more than we realize.
Years ago, I read a quote that I remember as, “Kindness is love in working clothes.” I checked to find out the author and it is attributed to Josephina on her wordpress.com page which reads, “Kindness is love in work clothes. Who can you show kindness to today?”
These verses, quotes and the example of my friend’s servant heart challenge me to answer that question, “Who can I show kindness to today?” Then I need to listen to the nudges of God to act and do acts of kindness to show Jesus’s love to others around me and give God all the glory.
Colossians 3:17 “Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus.”