It happened to me this Christmas night; my mind a whirl with questioning. It still is! We had experienced a wonderful Christmas dinner, twelve of us. Our Sara had prepared a sumptuous meal for her own immediate family, her husband’s family and us. Several brought food to share, and there was more than enough for all! We came home with full tummies and gratitude for precious family, who gathered ‘round the tree and the table, sharing gifts and a comforting meal.
One of the gifts Sara gave us was a box of spices, the kind she uses whenever she cooks. It was labeled “KIND.” On the reverse side of the label were these words:
Kindness brings such great comfort to our lives.
Even the littlest acts of kindness
Have a way of spiraling into so much more.
Kindness is at the heart of cooking
and at the heart of making life great.
In little acts of kindness is the magic to transform
our lives into something wonderful.
Thank you for being that kind heart,
and for sharing your kind heart
with the world around you.
Got me to thinking about New Year’s resolves, or any other kind for that matter. Usually something happens; some experience occurs that sets us to thinking, pondering perhaps the affect we have on people. So on Christmas night, lying in bed beside my sweetheart, we talked about the day, and the preparations for the day. Much like my Mother, I just had to make sure that all our friends from church, our neighbors and extended family had something from us for Christmas. So I baked, and then I sewed, and then baked again. It was my act of love, of caring and one I could afford. My degenerating lower back screamed at the end of each day, and sometimes during the day. I visited my chiropractor, did the exercises he recommended, used the vibrator chair and heating pad, took Ibuprofen and suffered through so that everyone could have that frosted raisin bread or ginger cookies. At the end of each day, when Ron and I should have had time for the two of us – or during the day too – I was too wiped out to speak much, let alone have energy for each other. Was that being kind to the person I love more than anyone? NO!
And then there’s our ministry – put on the back burner while I am busy baking and wrapping gifts. I fight with myself and frustrate Ron. The internal struggle is who am I and how can I get the message across? Am I entitled to be myself by caring about folks by baking them a loaf of bread? Or should I just devote every waking moment to those I don’t know but still care about – those who have suffered throughout life and are at twos and fours. But then, we may have the answers, the solutions to the ills of the people of this world, but what do you do when folks don’t want the answers? Do you stay at home and write books? Do you run around the country until you drop with exhaustion, endeavoring to find audiences who will hear; who want more than a butterfly bandage to heal their gaping wounds? Do you hire a marketer who will put you way up there on the web, and if you do, where does the money come from to pay someone worth their hire in the field of marketing?
I look around me and I see people who are dying to connect. I would wager that the greatest sales this Christmas took place in electronics departments and websites. Connect via computer, e-mail, IPad, Nooks, cell phones AND connect with my machinethat will allow me to connect, and will give me little, if any, guff. Folk carry it wherever they go, these electronic gadgets, even when visiting with family or friends, and while in someone else’s living room, they connect with yet another known or unknown out there in cyber space. Really, are they that desperate to be in touch 24/7?
But then, I’m a senior. I recall the days of afternoon visits, singing around the piano with friends and neighbors, sitting with a good friend and a cup of tea. Are those days really gone for good? I miss them!! I miss Deb, but that’s my fault. I moved away and that devastated her, I guess. I miss Donna, with whom I used to chat every day. I miss Priscilla, but whenever we are together, it’s like there never was a mile separation between us. We are somewhat isolated here on the mountain, but oh how we love the splendor of it and the close proximity to our daughter and her family.
What would you do? What’s the kind thing to do? There are people willing and anxious to help us get out the Good News that we are ALWAYS connected to our Heavenly Father and He to us. Facebook, the web and the TV are full of those messages. But there are few who understand why that connection and others is so difficult to come by; few that understand that God gave us the desire to connect and His enemy has done his best to cut down the lines. The lack of connection we have with others is simply a reflection of the severed lines between earth and heaven. The two seem to go hand in hand, and yet the yearning is written on our DNA.
If you were us, what would you do? How do you get the word out? Or is our message Old Hat?
Would you enlist an army of willing co-laborers who will facilitate, teach the lonely? And if so, how?
Would you stand on the top of our 12,000 foot mountain with a megaphone?
Would you send out a message-a-day on Facebook?
Would you write a blog-a-day?
Would you just give up?
Would you ?????
Let’s hear from you! Leave us your thoughts in the comments below.