The holidays are quickly approaching.
Saturday will be Halloween, then it is 26 days until Thanksgiving and 55 days until Christmas.
That is insane. This year has flown by.
The Holidays mean friends, family, food, parties, shopping…. busyness.
With this busy season approaching, it has been on my heart lately to slow down and really try to be kind to others. This came from realizing that sometimes I get so busy that I don’t even look up in a store and acknowledge people around me. That is not the kind of person I want to be, daily my prayer is that God would help me become more like Christ. I like to imagine how Jesus would act walking in through Target. I envision him smiling at everyone, having a conversation with an overwhelmed mom on the formula aisle, and genuinely looking everyone in the eye. Kindness. I imagine an unusual kindness.
I believe we are called to usual kindness.
In Acts 28, we read about Paul’s shipwreck. He was traveling to Rome on a ship with other prisoners to their sentencing when a huge storm erupted unexpectedly and caused extreme chaos. Picture the waves tossing them about, the prisoners trying to escape, the guards trying to maintain authority. Chaos, just like Target on Black Friday (okay maybe a little worse). I can see the fear in their eyes, and the worry as they got into the lifeboat.
Once on shore, the islanders showed them unusual kindness. They built a fire and welcomed them all because it was raining and cold (Acts 28:2). The islanders had no idea that these men were prisoners, they didn’t ask them a million questions or judge them. They saw a need for warmth and shelter and provided that need. The bible tells us the islanders showed them hospitality for 3 whole days. Imagine opening up your home to strangers for 3 whole days. Now imagine opening up your home to prisoners for 3 whole days. That is unheard of in our world today. But, we do hear of stories where people go above and beyond what is expected to show unusual kindness.
We are asked to give away our time, space, possessions and comfort. Extending kindness isn’t always easy or convenient, but we are called to this type of life.
“But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High,because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. ” – Luke 6:35
I imagine that the islanders were a breath of fresh air to the prisoners. They saved them and refreshed them in the midst of a trying time. Just like this…
“But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior” – Titus 3:4-6
So, as the holiday season infiltrates our lives, my prayer is that we focus on others more than ourselves. On giving, rather an receiving. On sharing the love of Christ. On unusual kindness.
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