Today’s Word: ‘kindness’ as in… I received a message yesterday from a friend simply thanking me for an interaction we shared some time ago. It took me off guard since I didn’t have any recollection of the moment to which he was referring. In the end, though, it didn’t matter because what was done wasn’t done for any reason other than to share the moment. Some small act was received in a big way that made a huge difference for both of us.
I was reflecting on this exchange of kindness with gratitude and how they really are two parts of one thing. Being open to others, being aware of the needs of others around us opens us up to the possibility of sharing kindness in a world that often could use an extra dose of kindness.
Our ancient Hebrew sisters and brothers practiced kindness as a sacred act by keeping one’s house always open and welcoming to strangers. The Hebrew scriptures give us a glimpse of this as Abraham and Sarah kept all four sides of their tent open for guests coming from every direction. I got to thinking about what this might mean for us.
The four sides of our tents: open to those we love, open to those we know, open to those we don’t know, and open to those who are difficult to love.
In the Middle Ages people would build a ‘guest house’ which would later be known as a sanctuary.
Well, that makes sense.
In this time of sheltering in place, being open takes on completely new dimensions. Being open to others without being in their space with them takes a great deal more creativity. Creating community and sharing a welcoming Spirit with others, even from a distance, and even digitally, means putting much more thought and effort into it. Perhaps a way of opening ourselves up on all four sides might mean sending an “old fashioned” handwritten note through the mail. Now there’s’ a novel idea!
How have you been shown kindness in this challenging time?
How have you shown kindness to others?