I couldn’t find in the dictionary a satisfying definition of kindness. The synonyms I found were a little bit more relatable to an understanding of what this is. I found that generosity, charity sympathy, compassion and tenderness are some of those things that are compared to kindness.
The word of God calls us to be kind to one another and to love one another, including our enemies. I think this is where it gets tricky. Loving our families and friends is almost normal, even on our bad days. Loving someone who is not particularly nice to us or that has hurt us can be a very challenging thing. However I learned first hand the power of how a kind heart can change your relationship with someone who right now you wish you didn’t even have to see.
Years ago, I worked with this lady. To my recollection I had not done anything to her and she had not done anything to me; but it was obvious to me that my presence was a thorn in her life. She would try to avoid any kind of interaction with me. If she had to talk to me, her tone would show her frustration in our interaction. I’m the type of person who tries to be liked, so the situation didn’t sit well with me. For months I prayed that whatever was bothering her life would be lifted, that she would be blessed, that she would find the love of God; I didn’t know if she was a believer or not.
One day, I was having a personal trial. She came to my desk and said “ I know I’m not your friend, but if you need someone to talk to, know that I’m here for you”. It totally blew my mind. Before she left my desk she left a small box. Inside the box there was a little plaque that to this day stays with me wherever I go. The plaque read, “there’ nothing that God and I can’t resolve together”. It was double amazing for me and totally spirit lifting. The message in the plaque had given me hope and it came from the person I least expected. I will say that after that day our relationship changed. I’m not saying that she became my best friend, but we were able to talk amicably and if memory serves we went to dinner once within a group of friends.
What act of kindness can you do today for someone whose personality or actions rub you the wrong way? Are you willing to make an impact in someone’s life, just by providing a smile? Take the challenge, it’s always rewarding.