There’s an intersection in Winnipeg that makes me sad every time I drive by it.
It’s the intersection where we used to turn when we drove to our chiropractor’s office. His name was Dr. Tapper, and I first met him eight years ago. He burst into the room with so much positive energy and life, it was impossible not to feel hopeful about a future with much health and wellness.
When Anika fell down an entire set of stairs, head over heels, we added her to the regular visits to Dr. Tapper’s office, and when Kaylia was born, it seemed natural to include her right from the start.
After every session, Dr. Tapper would always say, “Power’s on!”, with his unfailing optimism.
And then last spring, he passed away, at the age of 35. He got cancer, which was kind of impossible to comprehend, because he was always the picture of health and vitality.
Someone once told me that a person’s life is like a finger swirling around in a tub full of water. When life ends, the finger is removed, and immediately, all life and energy and motion is gone, and the water is still.
I never liked that picture. It seemed too momentary. It depressed me to think that life could be forgotten that quickly, and the impact of a life be stilled and silenced so suddenly.
I don’t believe it’s true, and that’s what I think of, whenever I drive past that intersection in Winnipeg.
Our family didn’t know Dr. Tapper very well. We saw him every week for seven years, but we didn’t really know him.
And yet I feel as though my life will always be different because of how he impacted my family. His office was always a happy, comfortable, enjoyable place to go, and my life had less pain in it because of those appointments. He was so gentle with my girls, and he was always so cheerful and encouraging.
I used to think that if I wasn’t going to have a deep, ongoing relationship with someone, there wasn’t much point in putting a lot of effort into the connection.
It feels embarrassing to write that now, but it’s where I’ve come from. It took me awhile to learn that any meeting, no matter how brief, is an opportunity to love.
Now, I’m learning to find joy when a cashier or waitress or any random stranger comes my way, and I have the opportunity to show a bit of kindness. I will never see them again, and they probably won’t think of me, but does it matter? If, for one short moment, my life connects with theirs’, and there will be just a shred of light and kindness left behind, isn’t that worth it?
I’m listening to an awesome message series by Bruxy Cavey right now, called “Who Am I?”. He talks about how we marvel at God’s creation in nature, and we grab our cameras to take pictures of a beautiful sunset, but sometimes we forget to marvel at people.
Do I see the beauty and significance in every single person I meet? Do I enjoy them, do I thank God for creating them, do I bless them in every way I am able to?
I have so much to learn, but already I can see the great difference between being nice to the stranger because it’s socially correct, or truly desiring to show kindness because they are God’s creation, and I am overflowing with His love.
A life might stop swirling the water in the tub, but a blessing never stops giving.
Jesus’ love doesn’t die, and so I want to put my effort and energy into the things that matter. I want to touch people’s lives, and I want that sad intersection to continually remind me that kindness and joy are always worth passing on, even for a moment.
May your day be filled with many wonderful opportunities for blessing others, and passing on short little bursts of love to the strangers you meet.
One thought on “Every Little Act of Kindness”
Remember how I was sharing about the man that asked us for money outside Smoke’s the other night? And how we gave him money instead of buying him supper? And how I said I would be ready the next time someone asked for food outside a restaurant? Well, Wednesday after swim/gym, we walked passed a man on the way into Dollarama that I think was asking for money. I didn’t stop because I would rather have given him some food instead. Well, he was gone when I came back out – I had full intentions of buying him a drink and a snack. Not so ready, huh? Then we met a man on the Giant Tiger parking lot that same day asking for money for bus fare. I was (finally) ready. I asked why he didn’t have money (by his clean clothes and hygiene, he did not appear to be homeless) and he told me a story. Whether it was true or not, I gave him money . . . with joy. And as I was, I kept thinking that I just helped Jesus get on the bus. I was talking to Jay about this again last night and was telling him that if we would stop viewing people as “the homeless man” or “the stranger” and instead viewed them as Jesus himself, wouldn’t our whole attitude toward each of these encounters change? Rather than giving food to a homeless person, we made sure Jesus had food to eat. I made sure Jesus got on the bus. By showing kindness and love and joy to each person we encounter, if we think of them as Jesus himself, we are showing kindness and love and joy to HIM! And, of course, that is what we would do if he were to show up in person right before our eyes. We would never be rude or hurried or short or unkind. And yet the Word says that when we do it to the least of these (least in spirit, least in life circumstances, least in whatever), we do it unto Him. He is right before us in person. So, as I go throughout my days, I am trying to keep that in mind. And it is slowly . . . ever so slowly . . . changing my heart. Once again, thanks for sharing. PS: Hope you are feeling better today! 🙂