This week my women's prayer group challenged each other to be kinder than necessary--to find ways to be kind. I haven't mentioned it to anyone, not even my family. But what I'm seeing are people being kinder than necessary to me, and I'm appreciative of those acts and those people.
A writer whose name I recognized, but whom I don't know personally emailed me out of the blue to tell me she loves all my books and that she buys each one she sees. That made my week.
My daughter who works and goes to school and is very very busy asked last night what she could do to help me. I said cleaning one bathroom and vacuuming the family room and all the steps would sure be a blessing, and she did it there and then.
I posted on my local Freecycle list that I was looking for a little antenna to affix to a television with no cable for the top of my refrigerator. A lady named Kim posted she had gone to look in her basement and found one for me.
A gardener posted strawberry plants on Freecycle, so I took a shovel and a galvanized tub and dug a mass of healthy-looking plants from the prettiest garden I've ever seen. My ground was too wet, because I'd just watered, so I'm babying them in the shade until I get them planted.
Is being kind necessary? That was the question that floated past me as I was reflecting on our weekly project. I'm a firm believer in what goes around comes around, and I believe it is necessary and healthy to do things outside ourselves that don't seem for our own personal benefit, and in the end they are.
Ever notice how unhappy selfish people are? Ever notice how miserable you get when you turn inward and focus only on yourself? I challenge you to do something nice for someone today, and see if the kindness doesn't come back to you. Call someone who's on your heart; send a note or a card to a lonely or hurting friend, relative or neighbor; take a batch of muffins to the cranky lady next door ( have just the recipe for you); let someone into traffic ahead of you; ask the checker without a smile how's she doing today and really hear her answer. This week when a child speaks to you, get down eye-level with them and listen. And if you can't think of anything else, smile. It's a gift worth giving. :-)