A Year of Service, Almost Over.

A Year of Being Kind blog – Tuesday, December 30, 2014

only kindness matters

A Year of Service, Almost Over.

Only one more day to 2014. Today was a routine day, a day not particularly out of the ordinary. A quiet day at work, since the preschool was on vacation during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. The only thing really different about today was the afternoon. I was asked to take a senior friend of mine to a medical appointment, and pick the senior up afterwards.

Did I, you might ask? Sure! Why not? (I ask this in all seriousness.)

Really—why not? I was asked to pick up the dear person, transport them about ten minutes away, and leave them at the medical appointment. Then, I could go back to work, do work for about an hour, pick up the senior after the appointment, and bring them home. Sure. Of course I could do that. And, I did.

My question is directed to myself, as well as my readers. Again, why not? Why not help someone in need?

Now, I perfectly well understand some people are not particularly steady on their feet or have various health difficulties. Others need to work. Still others have other obligations they need to take care of. But—please, if you can, if you’re able, could you consider picking up someone? A neighbor? And then, transporting them to work or to medical appointments, or even to pick up some groceries, or medication from the pharmacy. Then, back home.

I’d like to remind my readers. I said this year was going to be a journey of service. Of being kind. A daunting, exciting, up-and-down journey. I invited anyone, everyone, to come along with me. To come along with me—and God.

I tried not to have any expectations beforehand. No idea what was lying ahead. (Or, was it lying in wait?) I had been told any number of times—before this Year of Being Kind—that I often act in a naturally kind and tenderhearted manner towards others. I often use my spiritual gifts of helpfulness and mercy. This year, others have surprised me with unexpected words, looks, acts, and ways of being. On occasion, I see such kindness, helpfulness and service in the world today. You and I? God willing, we can add to the kindness. And helpfulness. We can be of service, too.

This year, 2014, has been a banner year for me. I’ve learned a great deal about myself. I’ve learned even more about different ways to be of service. A suggestion? Make 2015 a year to help out.

A year of service for you. 365 days of kindness.

P.S. My new blog for 2015? A Year of Everyday Prayers: Connection with God and Others. Stay tuned! More information tomorrow.

@chaplaineliza

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Making Connections? With Sincerity!

A Year of Being Kind blog – Sunday, July 27, 2014

blessed are the peacemakers Matt5-9

Making Connections? With Sincerity!

Some folks have the ability—the knack—of making instant connections. I won’t claim to be that skilled at connection-making, but I must admit . . . I do do that. It sort of just happens. I’ve spoken about this before in this space. My husband and children poke fun at me on occasion, and I don’t know why connection happens so suddenly. So meaningfully, sometimes. It just does.

The first time today a connection occurred was at a big-box store. My college-age daughter and I had chosen a bunch of items, over almost an hour. I even tried on a pair of shorts (on sale!), and they actually fit me. We also picked up several things for my daughter to take to college in less than a month. Lo and behold, when we came to the register, I did not have my credit card with me. Boy, was I red in the face! The cashier was so wonderful about it! She reassured me that she would set aside all of our things until we returned.

My daughter and I schlepped all the way home, picked up the necessary card, and went all the way back to the big box store. Yes! The cashier was still at the same register. I promptly went and bought everything I had originally placed in my basket, an hour before. I could tell that the cashier and I had made a connection, as brief as the communication was between us. I was sincere in my apology, and told her several times how kind it was for her to keep the contents of our cart by her cash register. She stopped—actually stopped—in ringing up our things. She told us, “Of course I would do that.” I could feel the sincerity radiating from her, as well as friendly concern.

Only a few minutes’ interaction, yet truly honest and sincere. Wonderful!

The second time a connection happened to me was in the evening. I went to a coffee place to get some beverage. The server who got the beverage for me was a lovely young woman. On top of that, she had stunning dark make up on her eyes. (Not too much, just to emphasize her eyes.) I complimented her on the make up, and made a comment about how attractive make up like that looked on dark-complected women. I also noticed her earrings—large, simple crosses. I happened to mention them, too. She seemed a bit taken aback at first. Yet she thanked me in not-too-much time, and responded willingly enough.

She related about certain well-meaning customers. When hearing that her ancestors came from the Middle East, certain people ware surprised to hear that she is a Christian. Her whole family attends church, too. I tried to encourage and support her, and I believe she was grateful for my words. So grateful! I also told her about a Presbyterian church not far from here, and how I had attended the church some years ago. Many of its members and friends were and are Christians from the Middle East—Iraq, Iran, other countries.

I mentioned how sad (beyond belief!) I was at all of the reports and brief articles I have been reading. Christians from the Middle East becoming refugees. Horror and absolute fear, on the run for their lives. She immediately said she purposely did not think about them, with a look that told me so much. Troubled, anxious, fearful. Moreover, she didn’t want to be overwhelmed. But the two of us? We drew on that deep something. And somehow, connection happened. Praise God.

I pray for both of these women, for them and their families. Please, God, hear my prayers.

@chaplaineliza

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