The receptionist with the sparkly blue eyes smiled wide when I came up to the counter to make my follow-up appointment. When several of the next available visits didn’t work with my schedule, I sighed in frustration and offered a weak apology. But she wasn’t irritated or impatient. “Let’s keep looking to find something that will work for you,” she said.
I felt cared for.
The baby was strapped to me in the Bjorn, one toddler was in the top of the shopping cart, and the other one squirmed in the basket with groceries piled around him. All three boys were humming at a low, nerve-grating whine, and I was spying the oatmeal on the top grocery store shelf, calculating if it was worth the climb. “You’ve got your hands full. Let me grab that for you,” said the gentleman with a scruffy beard and long reach who magically appeared.
I felt seen.
I walked into the large sanctuary where women were chatting in small clusters. I scanned the room looking for the cardstock sign with my assigned table number and made a beeline for it. Squeezing past a group of women, someone touched my shoulder from behind. “Hey, Becky!” I turned, surprised that anyone there knew my name. “I’m so glad you joined us again!” the ministry coordinator said.
I felt valued.
These snapshots of intentional kindness only lasted but a moment, but years later, they are still vibrant in my memory. Why? They weren’t lavish or extravagant. They weren’t loud or flashy or done for an audience. They were simple and small.
Kindness doesn’t have to be big to make a big impact.
That’s why I love the new Care Dare from DaySpring — they’re making it easy to be intentional about kindness. When I signed up, I got a printable download with over thirty simple ways to show people in my everyday life that I care. Easy things like, Say Hello First, Send a Card, Give a Compliment, and Thank Someone in Ministry. For the next thirty days, I’m going to join thousands of people in showing others I care. You should join me! Think of the big impact we could make.
Chances are high that those who showed me small kindness in the past wouldn’t even recall the moment. But I remember. In a busy world where people are often preoccupied with their own rushing wants, urgent agendas, and frenzied schedules, an act of compassion stands out.
Each of the individuals I mentioned had something in common — they took notice and were ready to respond. The receptionist chose to see me as an individual, not a difficulty to check off her list. The man in the store was aware enough to see my unspoken need and was happy to help. The ministry coordinator wasn’t too consumed with managing a large group and staying on schedule to take note of a newbie and make me feel welcomed.
Kindness is powerful – it sticks with you. A warm smile or gracious word has the ability to change someone’s outlook, mood, day, maybe even the trajectory of their whole life.
No doubt the Apostle Paul understood the power of caring people when he charged believers in Colossae with this command:
So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion,
kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Colossians 3:12 (NASB)
Every day we get to choose what we’re going to put on. To be honest, some days I unconsciously slip into the easy ways of self-focus, just like I’m pulling on yesterday’s worn jeans. They’re crumpled on the floor, and without even thinking, they’re suddenly zipped, buttoned, and covering half my body.
When I operate on wardrobe autopilot for my spirit, the same thing happens. I’m suddenly immersed in my day without recognizing that I’m covered with distraction instead of compassion. I’ve put on a me-first attitude instead of kindness, pride instead of humility, a harsh spirit instead of gentleness, and annoyance rather than patience. It isn’t a becoming look. But even more than that, these layers shroud my spiritual vision.
When we’re weighed down by these kinds of ungodly coverings, we can’t take notice, we’re not ready to respond. That’s why Paul makes it clear that we have to be intentional about what we put on.
But take note of this, friends:
It’s not only important what we put on every day, but why. Before jumping to the desired action, Paul camps out on our divine identity. We are daughters of the King! Chosen and loved by God, holy in His sight.
We love, because He first loved us.
1 John 4:19 (NASB)
That is our why, and because of that we want to join with DaySpring in kicking off the #DaySpringCareDare!
Sign up for the dare, and for the next 30 days, DaySpring will send you simple ways to encourage one another and show you care. Each weekly email will include a new theme, new Bible verse to focus on, and daily challenges to help you live your faith.
Let’s be women who live eyes wide open for opportunities to put on the love of Christ and be ready to share it with others!