Archive for October 14th, 2008

Non-Random Acts of Kindness

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

Today’s scripture: Luke 23:50-56 (ESV-text and audio) (KJV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Carla Peck):

Reading this passage brought back memories of my earthly Dad’s burial. Dad had most of his funeral preplanned. He had selected and prepaid his casket, headstone, and funeral arrangements. He had thought ahead and purchased the plot next to my Mother nearly 40 years prior, and even had a draft of his obituary ready. Dad was very intentional about the details except for one thing — his actual funeral service. I believe that not planning his funeral service was intentional, too. Planning Dad’s funeral service was the last act of love and respect that my brothers and I could do for him.

Dad had been a musician and band director. Mother was a concert pianist. Between the two of them, music spoke louder than words ever could. I wanted special, meaningful music for Dad’s funeral, but had no idea where to turn — this was the first time I had ever planned a funeral service for anyone. Dad was the planner, and I had always taken that for granted.

I was hurting as I made the calls to Dad’s friends and our family notifying them of Dad’s passing. I told each one that I wasn’t sure what to do for the music and asked for ideas. Often when someone has an idea, it involves a third party taking action. There was one exception: Janet, who was one of Dad’s (and my Mother’s) former students. Janet asked if she could come to the funeral and play her harp.

At my request, Janet selected hymns she thought Dad would have liked. She arrived at the funeral in a flowing white cotton summer dress with her beautiful handcrafted travel harp — the perfect vision of an angel. I imagined my parents proudly looking upon her from Heaven as she sang and played each note.

Robert, who Dad never mentioned, had been a student at the first school where Dad taught. Robert sent my brother a touching letter saying that even though he chose sports over band in school, Dad had positively influenced his life from the sidelines.

Janet and Robert were not people from my day-to-day life. Janet and Robert are people who came to my aid, unexpectedly, during a difficult time, to share an act of kindness. I think Joseph, in today’s passage, and the women who had been companions of Jesus from Galilee, were a lot like Janet and Robert.

Thought for the day: Lord, help me to make the time, during my busy days, to share kindness. Nudge me to act on the opportunities God places on my heart, especially when it feels like I am the unexpected one — let me be the stranger who shows kindness.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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