December 22 is not typically a date associated with kindness. Am I right? I mean, have you stood in a grocery store lineup? Have you tried to brave a parking lot? Have you dared to ask a cashier for a product not found on the shelves?
Kind is not the first word that comes to mind when I think of the final shopping week before Christmas.
Take for example this guy I observed who parked his car in the middle of the parking lot just so he could tell off this other guy for taking “his” spot. He stormed across the parking lot, turned the brightest shade of red I’ve ever seen, unloaded horrible words on this guy and his family, and wrecked a dozen shopping experiences in the process.
I believe Christmas is a time of kindness.
And I believe all it takes for kindness to spread is for someone to be willing to go first.
So when “red faced guy” stood behind me in the check out line, I turned around and asked if he wanted to go ahead of me. He said, “Absolutely!” but wondered why. I replied, “I noticed you only have three items and I have an entire cart. Besides, it’s Christmas and shouldn’t Christmas be about kindness?” He half smiled and said, “I guess.”
As I watched him walk away I silently prayed that a seed of kindness would be planted in his heart. I prayed that “red faced guy” would become “big hearted guy.”
Because that’s what kindness is – it’s a heart thing.
This might be the craziest week of Christmas, but it’s also prime opportunity for a kindness extravaganza. And if your heart is focused on Christmas being a time of kindness, a plethora of opportunities will present themselves.
”A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.” Proverbs 15:1
Christmas idea: Take cookies to your local fire station, or police station, say thank you, hold the door open for people, wish people a Merry Christmas, offer up your parking spot, track down a shopping cart for someone else, or simply smile. You just never know the ripple effects you can create by your willingness to go first and lead with kindness.
Christmas prayer: Father, Your Word challenges me to not merely be a listener of Your Word, but to be a doer of it – to not just say I love people, but to show it in my actions. I pray my life will reflect kindness and love this final week of Christmas, and may Your presence through me deflect angry words and frustrated hearts. Use my life to plants seeds of kindness. Amen.