Right now I am typing this post from the loft of a beautiful vacation home in Myrtle Beach thanks to the kindness of my in-laws. We are all gathering far from home so we can celebrate Thanksgiving and my son’s 21st birthday together. My son attends college in Myrtle Beach and would not be able to make it home. This kindness overwhelms me and blesses me beyond words. Even as I prepared to come down, kind friends showered me with goodies, notes, and prayers. I am blessed beyond measure with people’s kindness.
The kindness that I am so thankful for is the one I have seen over and over, especially in my role of pastor’s wife. I am made aware of many needs of others. Whenever I have shared these needs with the ladies of whatever church I have been part of, they rally. It is one of my favorite things to watch how women jump in to meet needs whether they know the person or not, they are so generous with money, items, time, prayers, words. It helps me on those days where the newsfeed is filled with the depravity of man to remember that there is a deep kindness that is still here.
I am reminded of Mr. Rogers’ quote, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” I have found this to be true. There is something about seeing another’s pain and hardship, or even just hearing about it, that seems to bring about a desire to help. I am blessed and privileged to know many women (and men) like this. I have been a recipient of their kindness and I have also seen it happen over and over towards others connected deeply or loosely to our community.
When someone needs help setting up a new home after a very rough season of life, women have dug through their attics, or even taken stuff right out of their homes to help that person. Money has been given to help someone they know could use some extra funds. Meals and cards have been sent for people who are sick, every funeral at our church I watch a small army of women rally to make sure the family and friends of the loved one are well fed and loved. People have given rides to others, or rode along for company, or to protect in some cases, to encourage in others, to just be with someone.
When someone is passionate about a cause and we share it with the ladies, they all jump in whether it is their heart passion or not. We have helped furnish a home for women rescued from sex trafficking, we have collected socks and underwear for the Bowery Mission, Christmas cards to vets, diapers and baby items for the pregnancy care center and so much more. Just thinking about all these moments overwhelms my heart with great love for all the women I have the privilege to serve with. They have rallied on behalf of kids who need a defender, women who need hope, families who need a place.
Kindness is not dead. People just need to be made aware of a need and they are willing and ready to share in whatever way they are able. I am so grateful for all the kindness I have received and seen people give to others. It reminds of Tolkiens words, “I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay, small acts of kindness and love.” Indeed for me, seeing and looking for the kindnesses does keep the darkness from overwhelming my heart and mind. For that and more, I am thankful.