Saturday, January 08, 2005

The power of kindness

Last night I drove my truck into a snow drift, accidentally. I was taking my usual short-cut around the back of campus, and before I knew it, poof! I was deep into snow, the backwash of a huge plowed area that somehow got missed, and snow stacked up very deep. I was in 2wd, not expecting to need 4wd, and by the time I came to a stop, even 4wd wouldn't help me out -- no traction and too deep. :-)

It was kinda fun, but I needed to get my truck free. A manager of the near-by Mexican restaurant rescued me, came out in his shirt sleeves and stood there while I borrowed the restaurant's snow shovel to dig myself out. I dug, and dug...threw a lot of snow in the bed for weight, and talked to the manager about cars and life. He even pushed on the front of my truck for me. Very neat.

After thanking him and promising to drop by for a meal, I reflected on the power of kindness.

That meant a lot to me -- that simple gesture, letting me use the shovel, and then pushing the front so I could get going backward to "freedom."

The lesson I took from it was the power of a simple act, a simple self-giving act, even from a stranger. We all need this...not necessarily from strangers, but from friends, and from our family in the body of Christ.

Our simple words and acts can heal...or the lack of simple words and acts can cut, very deeply.

I reflected on the warmth of that stranger's kindness, compared to the coldness of those times when one that I considered a friend didn't seem to care even about simple acts...or those times when I was the one who failed of kindness.

And I gained some wisdom. "Teach me, O Lord, to gain a heart of wisdom..."

Lesson for the New Year: Do the simple acts of kindness, even when I don't receive the same in return, or see the value in doing them.


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