By Melissa McLaughlin
The weight of sadness in this world with its division, hatred, animosity and harshness, at times feels like a heavy blanket of evil pressing against my soul. Every word spoken, seems to assume the worst and allows for no grace. Every news cast highlights the most destructive possible view of humanity. Every passing exchange, laden with layers of hurt and a lifetime of bitterness.
How do we climb out from under such a heavy load?
In the midst of this dark cloud, came a few small acts of kindness recently that touched my heart and parted the storm clouds for a small ray of God’s tender light to shine through. That light rested on the faces and hands of people who paused just long enough to let the grace of Jesus touch my mind and soften this formidable shadow.
Several small acts of kindness wielding a powerful punch against evil.
To begin, two different friends from social media noticed my absence due to recent illness and reached out to let me know I was missed and they were praying for me. This touched me deeply because on the most basic level, I felt that I mattered to someone enough that I was simply noticed. It sounds like such a minor thing, but the soothing words of faithful friendship were like a balm to my soul.
Later that week, I sent out an email update to a church prayer group. Two people unexpectedly responded with a kind word of appreciation and offered a word of prayer for me in return. Nothing more than a sentence or two, but I felt a shower of sweet, blessed, refreshment washing over me.
Just a day or two following, the new oven that I had ordered weeks earlier finally arrived. It wasn’t until the appliance was completely installed and set up that I realized I had ordered an oven with no timer! How is that even possible? In the long list of fine print specifications, it never occurred to me to ensure this modern oven came equipped with a timer. With encouragement from my family, I called the store to ask if I could return and upgrade. As I explained my error to the store clerk, her gentle voice answered with such compassion and understanding that all feelings of concern dissipated in our brief conversation. Again, it may appear a trifling thing, but the clerk spoke with such grace that it brightened my day like the warmth of morning sun.
I doubt any of these people realized the powerful impact they left on my heart. How they lifted my spirits and my vision heavenward with a small act of kindness. Nothing more than a few words or a sentence of support. Yet, it was as if a wall of impenetrable darkness was dispelled with a mere breath of kindness.
Love, God’s love, through the voice and heart of another is a force not to be underestimated. So, I encourage you with these small words of mine, look around in your circle of life. Is there someone who could use a small word of hope? A short word of prayer? A gentle message of understanding? May more people be amazed at the power of a kind word.
Believe me, the ripples reach farther than you know. May the gentle drops of Living Water pour forth from our lips to revive some parched soul today.
Proverbs 16:24 – Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
Proverbs 15:1 – A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Proverbs 15:4 – The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.
Proverbs 15:30 – Light in a messenger’s eyes brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.