Posts Tagged ‘Colossians 3:12’

Jo 23In this time of COVID19, as I entered our local supermarket, I looked for the hand sanitiser. Yes, there it was—but alas, there were no wipes left for hands or shopping trolleys or whatever. I decided it might be good to point this out to one of the staff members—and watched as this message was relayed from one to the other without much action. In the end, I could not wait any longer and went on my way.

I did not get far, however, before a tiny, elderly lady stopped me and held something out to me. Her English was minimal but her actions spoke louder than any words ever could. With a smile and a kindly nod, she held out a packet of her own wipes and offered me one.

‘Thank you so much—God bless you!’ I said to her as I took one, at which point she smiled even more broadly.

Her little act of kindness changed my whole attitude that morning. I had been feeling just a tad put out, but this lady’s thoughtful action lifted my spirits so much, like a sudden ray of sunshine peeping through the clouds.

Not long after, I noticed a rather short lady trying to reach a carton of long-life milk high up on a shelf in one aisle. At first, I hesitated, recalling how we are not supposed to get too close to other shoppers. But then I remembered my lovely, little lady who had given me one of her wipes. Being tall, I could easily help this person.

‘Can I get a carton down for you?’ I offered.

‘Oh yes—two, please!’ she told me in a relieved voice.

I did as she asked—it was no problem.

‘Thank you so much!’ she said, beaming. ‘Now you have a lovely day!’

Again, I felt my spirits lift as I walked off. Such a little thing—yet it had made two people happy.

Eventually, I reached the checkout where the cheery staff member began chatting to me. I cannot remember what she said now, but I do remember how every second sentence ended with the word ‘darl’!

‘How are you, darl?’

‘I’m fine, thanks. How are you?’

‘I’m good, darl. Give me your bags—I can pack them. Is that too much in this bag for you, darl? No? No worries, darl!’

Yes, just a pleasant checkout chat—and yes, perhaps this was her natural way with everyone. Yet it too lifted my spirits. She could have looked glum. She could have worked on without connecting with me at all. Instead, she was warm, pleasant and kind.

As I went on my way, I could not help thinking what a difference all these brief connections had made to my morning. Sometimes it’s the little things that count, isn’t it? Sometimes being kind to someone can act like a lovely, soothing balm to their spirits and perhaps even reflect one tiny aspect of God’s kindness and grace to them. Yes, I love those times when God prompts us to say more or do more. But what a privilege to be part of showering God’s grace on others via the little things too!

As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Colossians 3:12

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Jo 23It is a well-known fact in our family that I am quite skilled at being clumsy. Even I admit I qualify well for the title of ‘klutz’ that my children have readily bestowed on me over the years. But one recent Sunday afternoon, I excelled myself. While out walking on a completely flat bike track near our home, I managed to turn my ankle and, unable to right myself, landed full length on that very hard surface with a resounding splat.

I sat there for some time, waiting for the shock to wear off and that wave of sickness to go. Then I turned around and noticed a small section of tree branch lying nearby on the path. Was this what had made my left foot roll onto its side? It looked so harmless and insignificant—no wonder I had missed seeing it. Then again, I had been walking along, thinking about all sorts of things, instead of watching where I put my feet.

With the help of a passing cyclist, I managed to stand up. But as soon as I tried to walk, I knew something was wrong. On top of that, my right arm did not feel the best either. I limped to the next street and sank down on a nearby wall, before phoning my husband to come and rescue me.

The next morning, we headed to Concord Hospital and discovered that, while my arm had no breaks, I had chipped some bone off the base of my ankle. My foot was duly put in plaster and I hobbled out to the car on crutches, feeling somewhat sorry for myself.

It had taken only a small piece of wood lying on a wide, flat path to bring me down—literally. Yet, as I thought about it, I realised how often that same thing happens in my life on a different level as well. While I might remember to look to God to help me face those bigger challenges that come my way, it is so often the little, daily challenges I regard as unimportant or overlook entirely that can cause me to stumble. How many times do I look to God for strength to speak somewhere, for example—just as I had when preaching in the morning service at our church on the same day I fell over? Yet how many more times do I ignore or not even notice those little things in my life that dishonour God on a daily basis? How often do I choose to pass on that piece of gossip or tell that half truth or be jealous of another’s success or stay angry or lose patience with someone?

Next time I walk along that bike track near us, I plan to watch out for those little bits of branch that have fallen onto it. And next time I am in danger of stumbling in one of these ‘small’ ways Paul mentions in both Colossians 3 and Ephesians 4, I hope I will choose a better path. After all, I don’t want to break any more bones. But, much more importantly, I don’t want to hurt God either.

How about you? Are you watching how and where you walk?

Therefore as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Col 3:12

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