Monday, April 22, 2013

Kindness Matters

It was easy to be mesmerized with the process of his craft. I was on information overload, weary from travel, changed environment and routine.

The handsome young man extended his slender finger and almond shaped nail to depress the switch. With one click, the seasoned barista sent the mill into whirling motion. Sharp blades fluttered and hummed with choppy crunching and then even purring of the motor, which signaled success. It released a caffeinated laced aroma which hung in the air, as the roasted beans were transformed into finely ground powder.

Dark liquid gold ran in a thin stream from the portafilter into the cup forming the all important caramel-colored creme on top. The vapor essence of coffee filled my senses. I was already gulping in the experience, while the hiss of the frothing wand produced perfect creamy foam. With a flare of his wrist he poured the velvet to top off the drink. Then four of us drug chairs across the tiled floor, to huddle close around a table made for two.

We were strangers really.

As we each cupped our drink choice, rich conversation began to flow. We only had a short time to catch up on each others entire lives.

Her appearance didn't reflect her age. Her manner put you at ease. Her beautiful clear skin and deep eyes warmly melted any barriers and we were all instant friends.  

She displayed no pretense. For her there was nothing to prove.

She spoke in startling detail of the day her father, sat the four of them on the bed, to announce he was leaving. With even toned clarity she communicated the event that would be a turning point in all of their lives, though she wasn't yet ten, that awful day.

In the devastation of a family torn by divorce, she recounted how one woman from a nearby town, entered into their story. In tenderness this one nameless woman, began to extend kindness to a family in need.

As time passed there were other men and other women that reached out and did a thousand other kind things to help this mom and her children. 

The outcome of those acts of kindness have yet to be fully realized. 

But that day, in that little coffee shop I saw her one beautiful life.

The stunning wife of a Pastor. Mom to adult children who are living and serving Jesus. One of her children, a missionary who lives dangerously in another country. 

She was a blogger before blogging was big.

Her siblings, are also living whole lives. And they invest in other people in one-hundred thousand other unspoken displays of kindness. 

A few hours after this encounter, in the evening session, Author and Speaker Jennifer Dukes Lee, made this statement: "Someone once said that 1,000 people stand on the other side of your obedience." 

Her words sunk deep into my flesh. I tried to picture one thousand faces looking intently at me  - -waiting for my next act of obedience, to what Jesus is asking of me to do right now

For this new friend, the one nameless woman, who drove from another town to her home   - -her acts of kindness probably seemed small, as she lived them.

But from my cup-of-joe view, I would guess the people impacted are more far reaching than one thousand.

Recently I heard someone teach this: "That the Abraham of the Bible, is still waiting to see what all fruit is his to claim from his obedience long ago, because it is still producing." 

The world is still being effected by his original act of obedience "to go." (read here?) 

Often times an act of obedience is not some earth-moving moment. Sometimes they look like small acts of kindness. 

One thing it will probably always involve, is giving something of ourselves up.





The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
(Galatians 5:22-23)

The local news may not have noticed friend, but the God of the Universe has recorded every deed done for His glory.


In Heaven.

That nameless woman who ministered to a broken family in what seemed very small ways.....

The sweet woman who was faithful to do, what she could, with what little she had to offer....

The lady who opened doors which might otherwise have remained closed....

Photo Credit

Well, I think she is going to shocked to see all the faces that her service reached.

Photo Credit

Obedience and kindness have a ripple effect. 

Today I hope you and I can be that sweet aroma of kindness lived out.

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© Rhonda Quaney