Practice: Kindness

“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”
― Desmond Tutu

Here in Virginia, it has been a snowy week with a lot of voiced frustrations about snow, school cancellations, and freezing cold temperatures.  It’s easy to get grouchy when you feel cold, tired, and no longer in control of your schedule.

But, let me tell you about a few other things I’ve observed:

  • people picking up a snow shovel and helping dig out a neighbor
  • extra donations showing up at food pantry to be sure those whose food supply wasn’t secure would have something to eat
  • a car stopping and patiently waiting so that a pedestrian could safely reach a cleared piece of sidewalk
  • students offering rides to each other to insure everyone arrived safely to their homes
  • a complete stranger stopping to help someone who had difficulty walking navigate an icy stairwell

The days may be cold and grey, but kindness offers warmth.

Today, as a Lenten practice, I invite each one of us to practice kindness.  It’s a simple task, but a life changing one:  do something kind for someone…a family member, a friend, a stranger…simply because you can.  Not because you have to.  Not because you will get a “thank you.”  Not because of any reason other than wanting to live deeply into kindness, and experience it fully.

Kindness can come in many forms, and this recent slideshow of simple, daily acts of kindness may offer you some ideas to get started:

Random Acts of Kindness

As you’re engaging in kindness today, I offer you a few questions to think about:

What is so life-giving about kindness?  

Why does it surprise and delight us when someone is kind to us?  

Why are we left feeling so satisfied when we allow kindness to flow toward another human being?

Perhaps it is because, at the deepest core of our humanness, we are reminded of the Grace into which we have been wrapped since before we could even recognize it.  The Grace of God is given to us freely, without strings and without an insistence that we return the favor.  Grace is lavished upon us when we are cranky, when we are loving, when we are bored, when we are confused.  Grace greets us when we wake, and enfolds us as we sleep.

Our acts of kindness…one person to another…are the tangible offerings of God’s grace moving through the world.

Practice kindness.  Live into Grace.

(and feel free to send a picture of your random act of kindness so I can post it here, and on the Living into Sacred Space Flickr album)


Phot by hunterdt (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

2 thoughts on “Practice: Kindness

  1. I loved seeing the random acts of kindness on the Huffington Post site. So sorry that I missed that designated week, but I think it would be a great practice to adopt for Lent. Thank you.

    • I had the same reaction, Joy! Although I suppose any time is a good time for kindness :-). I really liked this link because they were small, everyday day brighteners. It’s these little things that together create great change.


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