Be Kind in a Grocery Store

A Year of Being Kind blog – Monday, March 3, 2014

BK kindness is contagious

Be Kind in a Grocery Store

Brand new month. Bright, shiny snow. I went on some errands for a friend of mine today. I needed to go to the pharmacy, and to the grocery store. Wonderful opportunity to be kind to someone today!

After I picked up a few things at the pharmacy, including two prescriptions, I went across the street to the discount grocery store. I do enjoy shopping—it’s almost always a pleasant experience. I entered the store and found some new displays—seasonal items on sale near the doors. It’s so interesting to see what items will be featured at this cut-rate store.

It didn’t take me long at all to dash in to the store, grab a few items, and proceed towards the front of the store to check out. I needed to wait for several people in line ahead of me. In fact, I was waiting in line for quite some time. That was okay. I didn’t mind. But as I was standing there, waiting patiently in line, the older man in front of me said that I could go ahead of him, in line. A bit flabbergasted, I soon picked my jaw up from the floor.

I gathered myself together. Shook myself (almost like a trained animal or something), and said “Thank you! Thanks so much!” I smiled at the man, and walked over to the head of the line. I knew he had been in line there for more of a long time, at least longer than I did. Funny thing—I kept telling myself that I was out of place. Almost subversive, like I was doing an action that felt somehow like I was “cutting” in line. Good thing I had someone like that kind man offering his slot to me. Gracious at last, I did take the older man up on his welcome offer.

Another quirky thing: I had the strangest feeling that I would go ahead and try to pay it forward. I mean, I would try to offer my place in line (waiting for the cashier) instead of focusing on myself, front and center. I don’t want to let things go, paying attention to nothing and no one but myself. I need to think of others . . . and be intentionally kind.

What about you? Have you ever had someone offer you a place in a line—like what happened to me? Has someone been unexpectedly kind and thoughtful to you, so much so that you intend to pay back the kind act of service? I keep thinking that God will send me some interesting thoughts, not to mention some service opportunities. I’ve been praying for them!

As we enter the season of Lent, I pray the same for you—whether you are participating with the calendar 40 Days & Ways to Be Kind, or not. I encourage everyone to pray for service opportunities. And then, don’t be concerned! God will send them your way! I know God has sent me any number of opportunities to be kind. Praise God, get ready, set—serve!

@chaplaineliza

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Helping Others to Be Kind

A Year of Being Kind blog – Saturday, February 22, 2014

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Helping Others to Be Kind

I spent most of my day on the computer today. Not the most exciting of Saturdays, but I got a great deal done. Like the list for my Lenten calendar. Yes, I am going to feature a daily calendar for Lenten observance. 40 Days & Ways to Be Kind: A Lenten Calendar of Service. And in case you were wondering, the sign-up hyper link is immediately to your right (right there –>).

Let me back up a few steps and talk about how I first came up with this idea. I have been working on getting closer to God for a number of years, with sometimes lesser, sometimes greater effect. For the past couple of years, I followed Advent and Lenten calendars and readings with mixed results. Yes, they did help me to get closer to God. Success! However, I wanted something a bit different this time. This put me into a bit of a quandary, but then I came up with it—A Year of Being Kind: 365 Days of Service.

For those of you who have been following this space since the beginning of January, you probably know this already. When the idea for this whole “Being Kind” concept came to me earlier in December, I felt that it was such a natural for me! I’ve been told a number of times that I often act in a naturally kind and tenderhearted manner. This blog turns out to be a great way to develop those gifts and graces, and to get more facile at naturally performing acts of service and ministry.  I know I’ve said it before, but I want this Year of Being Kind to be a year of opportunity for me. I have asked God-as-I-understand-God for opportunities to help others and be of service.

That’s a long way of getting back to what I’ve been doing today—which is preparing the Lenten calendar 40 Days & Ways to Be Kind. For the past week and a half, I consulted a number of other Lenten helps and calendars online. I discussed this concept with several good friends and got a few fine recommendations for acts of service. So, finally I was ready. Ready to compile the list from everything I had rounded up.

I had a few ground rules: primarily, nothing that cost a lot of money. Second, service-oriented acts of ministry and kindness. And most important, I was conscious of older or less-abled persons participating with the Lenten calendar.  I would like as many people to be able to use this calendar as possible!

Another thought came to mind as I compiled this list of Ways to Be Kind; some people might not have certain of these listed items in their local area, or easily accessible to them. That’s okay! They can always pray for those at their local facility, or at the place they just couldn’t go to, for whatever reason. Prayer is always a great idea!

So, that is today’s act of service: compiling the Lenten calendar 40 Days & Ways to Be Kind. God willing, many will be assisted in growing closer to God during Lent through acts of kindness, love and ministry!

@chaplaineliza