At my house this week, it seemed as if we were all ships passing in the night. My husband worked his days off from the firehouse at a seasonal job. I spent far more time than usual online, researching various household problems, making our massive monthly grocery list and paying bills. My daughter dealt with a couple of long days preparing for her participation in the Moscow Ballet’s Nutcracker, and we ran extra errands associated with that. All the kids and I plowed through an extra load of schoolwork as we prepared for and completed nine-weeks exams. It was a Murphy’s law sort of week, although in a small way. We faced no major problems and we are all healthy, if a bit sleep-deprived at the moment. But we seemed to face one task after another and were just barely keeping up.
It’s during times like these that I so very much appreciate the little things, the small kindnesses that my children and husband do for me and for each other to make life easier, to show that they are conscious of each others’ needs and selfless enough to meet them.
More than once my daughter asked me, “Can I make you some tea, Mom?”
My oldest son asked me several times, “Is there anything I can do to help you?”
My little guy simply came up to me and hugged me, hard and often (perhaps to meet his own needs as much as my own).
And my husband, who leaves for the firehouse before dawn (and long before I wake) called me several times just to say hello, to tell me he loved me, and to listen to me vent my frustrations.
How thankful I am for my family’s thoughtfulness! Their acts of kindness remind me to pay it forward, not just within my own household but to all those we meet as head out into the world. They remind me to smile at our cashier and give her a tract, to offer a hand to the elderly gentleman struggling with his groceries, to write a thank-you note to someone at my church to let her know I appreciate her faithfulness and generosity.
In Matthew 14, Jesus received the news of the execution of John the Baptist. One can only imagine Jesus’ feelings at such a time; and yet, his own sadness and fatigue did not stop him from noticing the needs of others and meeting those needs, large and small.
When Jesus heard of it, he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart: and when the people had heard thereof, they followed him on foot out of the cities. And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.–Matthew 14:13,14
At that point, Jesus’ disciples faced the dilemma of how to feed the crowd, and what followed was the famous miracle in which Jesus used five loaves and two fish to feed 5,000 men, along with the many women and children present.
What a difference kindness makes! Has someone’s act of kindness touched your life recently? I’d love to hear from you.