A Year of Being Kind blog – Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Kindness, Pointed Inward. Service, Pointed Out.
I spent the first half of the day in Pennsylvania, at the mission conference I’ve attended for a number of years. While there (even for so short a time), I had a number of significant experiences, conversations, and “divine appointments.” However, one of the most significant parts of today happened at one of the sessions. The first speaker of the morning (Russell Smith) spoke on several things this morning, but one piece of his session impressed itself upon my heart with particular depth.
Russ used two Scripture references to illustrate this point. His first (which he will expand tomorrow—when I won’t be there . . . <sob!>) was from Psalm 139. Each of us is created an individual. God made each of us, and designed us while we were inside of our mother’s bodies. God knew every facet of each one of us. And, God created each of us the way we are for a reason. (That’s the A-part of what Russ said.) The second Scripture verse Russ referred to was Ephesians 2:10. Each of us—each individual—is God’s masterpiece. We will not become a masterpiece at some future point in time, but God created us already, in Christ Jesus. God designed each individual for God’s purposes, and God created good works for us to do—so each of us has a job (or work, or things to do) prepared for us beforehand.
Yes, I knew all this already. But have you ever known something already, even known it by heart, or from the time you were very small, or have been through it a hundred times before . . . and all of a sudden, it’s presented to you once again. Strangely enough, this time, the same-old, same-old words come across in a profound way!
That’s what happened to me. These words knocked my socks off. Moreover, I had the distinct feeling these words, this teaching, was for me. Not for anyone else, today. I can clutch it tight to my chest, like a small child holds a beloved, treasured stuffed animal in its arms.
Later in the morning, I had the unexpected opportunity to turn outward. To be of service. To listen to a grandparent tell about their grandchild who is seriously ill. A continuing difficulty. I happened to be in the right place at the right time. What an awesome thing that I was there, to listen, with my less-anxious presence. I could tell this grandparent was concerned about the grandchild, so far away. And—I have been trained for just such an eventuality.
This second happening was intended for someone else. God provided a sympathetic ear and an understanding heart. (At least, I hope I was sympathetic and understanding!)
I thank God for new opportunities to serve. To be kind. And especially, for when people are kind to me.
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