A Simple Note
Every day when I walk into my office this note is the first thing I see. It’s a note I got from a stranger in a very dark and frustrating time of my life. I had just left a painful ministry situation and was physically, spiritually, and emotionally exhausted. I was dealing with questions like, “Is this God telling me I need to leave ministry?” or “Am I good enough, or talented enough to be a minister?”. Tough questions to try to answer in a time where I felt angry, broken, and useless. I pulled into the parking lot of a music store to buy some guitar strings when the driver next to me threw open their driver’s side door, embedding it into the side of my car. I was not pleased to say the least. She got out of her car, disentangled her car door from mine and apologized emphatically while pulling out her wallet, saying that she would pay for the damage. I told her “these things happen it isn’t a big deal, enjoy your Saturday”. I knew it wasn’t her fault, the wind in Oklahoma catches car doors all the time.
We both were going to the same store so we had an awkward 2 minute walk together that felt like an hour. I went to play some vintage guitars, she disappeared into the store. When I got back in my car an hour later, I found this note underneath my windshield wiper. I’m not an emotional guy, but this note brought me to tears. She had no idea the internal struggles I was going through and this little bit of encouragement was something I desperately needed.
Words Have Power
I keep this simple note on my wall to remind me the power of simple acts of kindness and the power of our words. Words are powerful! They have the power to profoundly influence others in a positive way. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:16-20:
“So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us…”
What if we moved about our life and saw people as they are in God’s eyes? People who have been reconciled with God and those who God wants to accept into his family. We’ve been given, and committed, to a message of love and reconciliation by Christ, and Paul goes so far as to say that we are Christ’s ambassadors.
How does that translate into your life as a student or as a professional in the work place? As a stay at home mom, independent contractor, or someone in between jobs and looking? This call to be a person that speaks of the love and grace of God is not something that is conditional to your status, your talents, your education or your job title in this world. We are called and given the power to be a people that speak the message of Christ’s love and the Grace of God to all the people in our lives. I was shown God’s grace through a simple encouraging note under a windshield wiper. It put in my mind that someone saw good in me when I didn’t see good in myself, a reminder that God’s plans are bigger than mine and in the words of Isaiah, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.”
“I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay: small acts of kindness and love.”
I love this line from The Hobbit, when Gandalf is asked why he would choose a 3 foot hobbit with furry feet to go on a dangerous quest. It’s something that resonates with everyone, we get excited and share with our friends on Facebook when we see a story about a regular person saving a life, or stopping a tragedy from happening. I firmly believe that living a life that seeks to consistently love and serve those around, you will leave this world a better place than if you had done nothing. I don’t believe that Jesus, in Mark 12:31, told us to “love your neighbor as yourself” as a piece of good advice or a nice proverb to follow. He wants you to love your neighbor as you love yourself, because Jesus is in the business of reconciling a broken world to him. It starts with the simple acts of kindness, the small everyday deeds of ordinary folks, that not only keeps the darkness at bay, but makes this earth a little bit more like heaven with every act of kindness and love.