Last week there was one of those days that I woke up, felt anxious, and did not really want to roll out of bed. In fact, I wanted to roll under the pillow and stay there. The previous week had been a tough one. Reports of cancer in a 7-year-old child, Memorial Day which brought up thoughts and memories of my parents and son who are no longer here, friends struggling in many ways, along with the constant up and down of the Covid restrictions that permeate everything around us it seems. Could I just for one day hide under the pillow??? However, the latest devotion I had read was still in my mind. You know….the one about running the race and persevering! Very slowly, I managed to make it to my feet. Those feelings of sadness, anxiety, and heaviness still hanging in the air.
I decided a trip to Fred Meyer’s was in order to finish up some last minute gifts we needed. When we got there my husband went one way and I went another to hurry our trip along. Of course,.it ends up taking longer because we can’t find each other and walk around and around, and up and down all the aisles hoping to spot each other. People were keeping their six feet distance and most wearing masks, including myself. I came face to face with an older man who I could tell even under his mask was smiling at me. We were only a few feet apart and he wanted me to go ahead of him. At that same moment, Ken appeared, and I told the man to go ahead because I finally found my husband. He turned to Ken and asked him if he knew how lucky he was to be chased by a beautiful young woman like me? He said, “I mean it. Men today do not appreciate women like they should. She’s beautiful.” (not sure what he saw since I had a mask on). Ken agreed but was a little uncomfortable. I think he thought he might get a lecture on being a good husband. Lol. I was loving this nice man instantly!
He then asked how long we had been together, and I told him 40 years. In an instant, he whips out his wallet. He obviously had that wallet a very long time because it was wrapped with several rubber bands holding it together. His wallet reminded me so much of my dad. He always had rubber bands around things that were precious to him that he didn’t want to lose, including his wallet. He showed us an old, very well used, black and white picture of his wife from when she was probably in her 20’s. She was beautiful. He proudly points to her and said, “55 ½ years and never sorry.” He was beaming and I thought what a wonderful man he must be. So kind, friendly, and caring. He must treat his wife like a queen. We said our good-byes and we checked out.
As we were leaving the store, I spotted him again coming toward me, so I waited and told him I hoped he had a good day. His response caught me off guard. He said, “young lady (which threw me for a loop), because of my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ I do not have bad days. I have been a born-again Christian for 30 years.” I shared I was a Christian too and agreed that we are blessed beyond measure because of Jesus. He looked directly into my eyes and said “I feel like I need to tell you something, but it might shock you or surprise you.” He said, “I woke up this morning and was praying about my day. I felt God’s presence and I felt like I needed to tell someone today that God is the healer of all emotions, stress, and sadness. I believe that person is you.”
I wanted to hug him but did not feel free to because he was masked and I did not want to get in his safe space. I had no words….but I can tell you….I felt as though God sent me an angel that day with a message. This man’s kindness, his words, his smile that showed even under a mask, took my breath away and changed my whole day. He spoke with tenderness but boldness. The store was busy with people and it did not intimidate him in the least. His voice was compassionate even though he had no idea what I was feeling that day. I will not forget this day anytime soon…if ever!
Friends….we run into people every day whether we are at Fred Meyer, work, grocery store, gas station, restaurant, or at a park. How many times have you been upset with yourself after you pass by someone because you are in a hurry or timid and you knew the Holy Spirit was nudging you to start a conversation or say something kind to them? I know I have more times than I like to admit.
There are hurting people all around us. Those who just need a word of encouragement or hope. This includes children and teenagers. I think we as adults do not think children are interested or care if we speak to them or give them a kind word. If you look at the statistics, it is staggering to see that suicide is one of the highest, if not the highest, killers of young people. They are lonely, feel isolated sometimes, may be bullied, and we as Christians have the words they need to hear. That they are loved by God, that they are not alone.
Coming out of the current lock down/quarantine, there are many people who are experiencing sadness and isolation. There are people in assisted living and nursing homes who have not seen their families in over two months. There are people who may have just lost their jobs and homes. There is heartache everywhere. We have the words of balm that can change a person’s day or life. (Even if it is by phone). We can be that angel that I experienced.
We are to show Christ to the world and what better way to communicate His love than to act as Christ would. The world is so polarized and unkind to each other these days, that an act of kindness or a word of hope may cause someone to wonder what is different about a person who takes the time to notice them. I was so touched by the fact he was not intimidated or embarrassed to share his faith in the middle of a very busy grocery store. I want to be like that wonderful, loving, man. How about you?
Our character is to be Christ-like. Jesus spoke to Samaritan women when it was frowned upon greatly. He fed thousands. He spoke words of mercy, grace, and love that changed people forever, no matter who they were, where they came from, and what they had done. He loved the unlovable. He gave them the most needed and healing words…straight from scripture. That is our calling. My experience with what felt like an angel in my midst has reminded me I too am to give others The Word that brings eternal life and brings the message of peace, comfort, and love.
I would like to challenge you for 30 days to touch one person a day in some way. There are many ways to show kindness and love. God puts people in our path for a reason. There is not one minute of each day that cannot be used to bring glory to God and blessings to those we reach out to.
Let us not be shy or intimidated. We can be the beginning of a revival of kindness and goodness. I would love to hear from any of you on my blog of how your Kindness Challenge is going. I will share mine as well. I guarantee you that not only will the person you reach out to will be blessed, but you will be blessed more.
Blessings to you. Press into God’s word and pray for Him to reveal and bring those you are meant to touch.
7 Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, 8 because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free. (New International Version)