Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Random Acts of Kindness

Often we hear of people who make it a point to do random acts of kindness. But I'd like to suggest we take it a step further and do INTENTIONAL Acts of Kindness. Random implies spontaneous and on a whim. Intentional acts take forethought and a desire to bless the recipient by considering that person's needs.

One of my friends is a licensed nail technician and she chooses to bless me by offering to do my pedicures since I have health problems. She said the Lord laid it on her heart to encourage me in this way, and God knew exactly what I needed. She is practicing Intentional Acts of Kindness. Last night she decided to surprise us with a carefully made meal for two. She put paper plates inside colorful plastic holders, loaded it with meat and vegetables, and wrapped it for travel. Then in styrofoam cups she layered a fruit parfait for each of us. This took thought and planning ahead of time rather than acting on a whim. What a blessing! While I was eating her homemade meal, my feet were soaking in a pedicure bath — now that's good living! (Thank you Lou Ellen!)

Another friend takes time out of her busy schedule to call me when she sees things on sale she knows I need. She knows how frugal we are, and helps us out by pointing us in the direction of savings. In doing this, she is lightening our load. To give you an example: I needed loose fitting clothing for an upcoming surgery. She told me about a special sale going on at a store for women who are (ahem) ample sized. Her heads-up allowed me to purchased clothing retail priced at $225.00, on sale now for just $53.00! (Thank you Betty!)

These are just two examples of taking time to deliberately bless those around us with acts of kindness. A card, a phone call, a meal, a pedicure are just a few ideas for showing kindness. The best way to know how to be a blessing to someone else is to ask God to show you. As you are praying for others in specific ways, God will lead you in ways to encourage them in specific ways. It all starts with prayer and an "others" mindset.

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