Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Words that Wash

Be kind. What does that phrase bring to mind? Someone holding open a door for a stranger? A smile? A touch? An encouraging word? 

This week the Lord has been opening my eyes to the power of kindness. 

When we become believers, we take upon ourselves the identity of Christ himself.  However, it is our responsibility to let this identity come out to fruition. A kind word or action can bring about a power that nothing else can. 

Kind words change things.

Sometimes we think that if we say something kind to someone we don't know or even do know, it will make things awkward. And for  heaven's sake, we have to avoid awkward!!! ;) 

In all reality, all it takes is a simple, "You're very kind. Thanks." "You have a beautiful smile." "Your hair is amazing!" "Thank you for doing your job with such joy." "You handled that customer so well. You're so patient." "Thanks for serving our community day after day." etc. The possibilities are endless. 

Do you know someone who naturally speaks to strangers with ease and always leaves others with smiles? Those people that can bring crazy encouragement and life-giving words to a waiter or cashier in just minutes? It's incredible, isn't it?  I always tell myself, I wish I could be like that.

Sometimes we think that we could never be like those gifted people. We feel that our small words are useless crumbs compared to the power others can speak to strangers. But we have to remember that the crumbs we give can be someone's meal. There is no such thing as a word without power. All words carry weight with them. 

Today after a lovely walk, my sister and I went to get some passion tea lemonade. The barista was probably in her late 30s, with soft features and blond hair. All of a sudden, I thought to myself how pretty she was. My natural tendency is to just keep this thought to myself, but all of a sudden I just blurted out, "You are beautiful." 

My eyes got a little bigger I think as those words left my lips, shocked at what I had just said. Her eyes did the same. We both kinda just looked at each other surprised. I can't help but laugh just thinking back to it. "Thank you,"she smiled. And then... I kept going. "Your makeup is done beautifully, and your eyes have a gorgeous sparkle to them. You are just so beautiful." 

Girls...I don't compliment people. I work at it, but it has never come naturally for me. So to hear these words flow from my mouth was quite a surprise. 

She looked at me and with tears in her eyes and said, "You don't know how much I needed that today." 

I smiled at her as my eyes were opened to the beloved child of God she was. She didn't look especially tired or worn out, but the Lord showed me that she was hurting. I smiled at her as I finished paying, and we wished each other a good day. 

A kind word. That's all it takes. 

This world is full of people who simply need a kind word. Jesus' words washed hearts clean. We cannot be God, but we can be his ambassadors and speak the same life he would if he were living on earth today. Every single soul that you pass by is hungry for acceptance, encouragement, love, and kindness. 

When was the last time a stranger spoke a kind word to you? I can't remember the last time that happened, but I do know that I want to be that stranger to others. 

One of my pieces in my new line coming out in June.

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