Let’s Be Kind has been an anthem from my heart for the past 7 years. I was about to celebrate my 25th birthday and was depressed and lonely. I had left my dream job to stay home with our baby. We moved from north Dallas to Fort Worth for my husband’s job. I knew no one and didn’t have a car. My hubby’s office was about 20 miles from our new house but because traffic was so bad, his commute was an hour and a half each way. That meant lots of time at home, lots of griping at my husband, lots of just not-fun-ness.
I was having a pity party to the Lord one day and He said, “Why don’t you spend your birthday blessing other people?” We had no extra money so I used some money that my family sent me for my birthday. I think it was around $30. We went to Dollar Tree and bought little packs of bubbles and handed them to people at the park, we went through a McDonald’s drive through and told the cashier we wanted to pay for the car behind us (and prayed that their bill wouldn’t be huge!), we hid dollar bills inside anniversary cards at Wal-Mart, and taped quarters to game machines. WE HAD THE BEST DAY! We loved it so much that we did it for the next couple of years on my birthday. Then, on my thirtieth birthday, I asked people to join me in spreading kindness. Instead of giving me presents, I asked people to do acts of kindness. Now it has become a tradition. One woman gave me all of these gift cards to give away. I mean, how sweet!?
My Arkansas friends have jumped on board with my craziness and we plan nights to drop little love bombs on people. One night, we called our friend who owns this ice cream truck. She let us get on it and we gave ice cream away to anyone who wanted some. It was the most fun!
Kindness is powerful. It literally was the thing that pulled me out of my season of heaviness and depression. Sometimes, when you’re consumed with your feelings, it’s hard to see a way out. The best response might be to concern yourself with the needs of others. Jesus might just heal your heart in the process.
God has been extravagantly kind to me and He has used people to show that kindness. A woman I barely knew, paid for my entire four years at Bible college; a pastor found out that JM and I were taking our laundry to a friend’s house every week so they purchased us a washer and dryer (we are still using them 11 years later); we’ve had 4 cars given to us; when Hadlee was a baby, a family bought her entire Christmas because they knew we were struggling; I could go on and on.
God loves to show the world who He is and He uses you and I to do that. Why do you think He gives us the Fruit of the Spirit?
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Gal 5:22-23 ESV).
It is because those are HIS attributes. He wants them displayed in the earth so He has given them to US. Here is another scripture that emphasizes this point,
“Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other” (John 13:34-35).
One more because it is my favorite,
“She always faces tomorrow with a smile. When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say, and she always says it kindly” (Prov 31:25-26 MSG).
There are many others, but you get the point.
I have a story of kindness from this week that I want to share with you. Get your tissues ready!
My friend (I’m going to call her Beth so I don’t embarrass her) bought her daughter two prom dresses online. They had gone to several stores and just weren’t finding ones that they liked. They ordered two hoping that one would work and they could return the other one. Beth felt a prompting from the Lord to post on her social media that she had an extra dress if anyone needed one. She just wanted to bless them.
A new employee in Beth’s office (that Beth had not even met yet) saw the post and messaged her about a girl at her daughter’s high school that might need it. This girl’s mama is single and works at Dominos. The new employee gave Beth the number to one of the teachers at the school. My friend sent a picture of the dress to the teacher to see if the size and style would work out for this young lady. The girl gasped at how beautiful it was! She told the teacher that she would babysit to raise the $30 for her prom ticket and would love to have the dress.
The school where this girl attends is an hour from Beth. She was just going to send the dress with the lady in her office to save time and gas. But then, my friend thought about how the girl would have to babysit to pay for the ticket. “That meant that she wouldn’t be able to buy shoes, accessories, or get her hair done. If my daughter gets to have those things for prom, then this girl deserves the same thing.” She put $200 in an envelope and drove all the way to the school to drop it off herself. When she got to the office, the staff were all buzzing about how cool it was. A complete stranger heard about this young lady, drove an hour to the school, brought the brand-new, fancy dress and cash for her. What in the world?! My friend wrote on the envelope, “You must be pretty special for the Lord to lay you on my heart. Have a great time at prom. God bless you.” She gave it to the teacher and didn’t hear anything for a couple of weeks.
This week, all of the new employees joined the weekly meeting in Beth’s office. Their manager asked if anyone had something good to share with the group. A woman raised her hand to brag on my friend. She was the one who had seen her post and connected the teacher and Beth. She told everyone in the office what my friend had done but said, “There’s more to this story… what you did has caused a movement in my daughter’s school. The students decided that they didn’t want anyone to not be able to attend prom because they couldn’t afford it. The students and staff have pulled together and are blessing anyone who needs help.”
Do you see how powerful kindness can be? We hear too often about how dark and how far from God our world is. There are many who are standing in the middle of the dark, glowing for Jesus. Light shines best in the dark.
Let’s be kind, friends. The world is desperate for it.