TODAY’S WORD by Susan Shira with an introduction by Pastor Jim…
Most of us are not in a position to change the course of history, affect international policy or travel to far off lands to work with the poorest of the poor.
We are simply trying to survive, feed our families, nurse our loved ones, or rehab our own aches and pains.
That reality does not change the fact that every day, we wake up with the opportunity to make a difference where we are. Little acts of kindness make the world a better place.
TLC’s Susan Shira offers us this beautiful and inspiring reflection about kindness.
-A Reflection by Susan Shira-
Some mornings are harder than most. On one such recent morning I started to recall my usual litany of the things for which I am thankful. However, I found the thoughts that were percolating to the surface of my mind all centered on the many times kindness has been shown to my husband and me in the years since he became blind and, most especially, in the years since he had a stroke that left him in need of full-time care. The realization was almost palpable, that the kindness of others was the tangible expression of God’s presence and loving care. These kindnesses were the actual embodiment of God drawing near.
My litany changed that day as I began to recall kindnesses:

• A simple text arrived: Can my buddy and I have a visit today, just the two of us?

• A silly, whacky video clip showed up in a phone message.

• A prayer was prayed during a visit, for God’s presence and strength to uphold, while a little child took in that scene seeing firsthand how faith and kindness are inseparable.

• A card arrived from someone unknown bearing a message of hope and caring.
• A potted plant, a Bleeding Heart, appeared on the doorstep the day after the sudden death of our beloved dog.
• A loving visit, the most recent in 10 years of visits, from one friend coming to spend time with his shut-in friend.
• A thank you was uttered, one of hundreds said over these past years, for loving care.
• A pair of simple questions were asked: Are you OK? Why not? They were asked just minutes after the first time my husband did not know who I was.
• A fellow jazz aficionado sent a link to the music of an artist not listened to before.
• A quart of homemade ice cream delivered for storage in our freezer.
• A young child, knowing very well that her daddy gives good gifts, asked him to buy new eyes for Grampy.
• A knock on the front door after the delivery of just-out-of-the-oven scones alongside a jar of homemade jam.
• A phone call from a fellow USMC vet. They met in 1953 en route to Korea. The call ended, per usual, with “Semper Fi, buddy.”
• A word of encouragement was given from a friend who twice has walked the path I now am walking: “It is hard, but you can do it!”
The words of Job 10:22 came alive for me….
“You gave me life and showed me kindness, and in your providence watched over my spirit.”
— Susan Shira
Thank you, Susan, for these inspiring words!
I hope to see you all in church tomorrow. It is T-shirt Sunday and we will be focusing on the role of prayer in our lives.
One day closer.