The Christian Woman:
An Act of Kindness
by Joanne Rutis
My daughter and I decided to make some sock dolls, so we went to a store to buy some brightly colored yarn for the dolls' hair. At first we didn't pay much attention to an elderly woman who was carefully looking through the packages of yarn until she held up a skein and asked us, "Is this mauve-colored yarn?"
I answered that it would probably pass for such. I could have let it go at that and kept on looking for my own yarn, but something about the woman made me ask if she was checking to be sure she was getting the same dye-lot number.
Eyes no match for number
If you've worked with yarn, you know you can think you're matching colors correctly, but, if different skeins were dyed in different batches when the yarn was being manufactured, the colors can vary enough to give you an unpleasant surprise once you've completed your project.
The woman knew nothing about dye-lot numbers, so I helped her find them on the packages. We made sure all the dye lots were the same so the colors would match.
Thanking me for my help, she started to leave but came back shortly to apologetically ask if I might know where the scissors were. I directed her to the end of the aisle to a scissors display.
As my daughter and I were about to leave, the woman returned. My simple act had so impressed her that she had to come back to thank me profusely for my kindness. As it turned out she was from a senior citizens' home and had come to purchase yarn for a friend who had just undergone heart bypass surgery.
I reflected on how sad it is that my simple act of courtesy was so out of the ordinary that the woman felt it warranted such gratitude, and then I considered how often I had shown friendship toward strangers. I had to admit that it hadn't been often enough.
Too many of us live in a world in which we don't communicate with those we don't know. We pass each other in stores and don't make eye contact.
This sin-sick world has made us leery of strangers, yet God has instructed us to extend ourselves. "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things . . .," said Jesus Christ (Matthew 12:35).
Following Jesus' example is to be a way of life for us. "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, . . .," wrote the apostle Paul (Ephesians 2:10)."And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart" (Galatians 6:9).
We know God doesn't want us to put ourselves in dangerous situations, but whenever there is an opportunity to do an act of kindness we should be responsive to it. "Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all . . ." (Galatians 6:10).
Most of us don't have the time to get involved in many public-service projects. Yet, as I learned that day, we can do much with just a cheerful word or a small act of service.
Most people still pass me in the store without looking in my direction. They have shut themselves into a protective world of isolation. But, when the opportunity presents itself and I see a need, I feel it my Christian responsibility to reach out.
There might be someone, just like that elderly lady, who is looking for a smile and a little show of concern: someone who can enrich my day far more than I did hers.
As Jesus pointed out, in Acts 20:35, it is more blessed to give than to receive. GN
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