I took my best girl to her first Washington Capitals game recently. (And ironically, it was the last game of the regular season, thank goodness for playoffs.) (Technically, I should note, it was her second game. But the only game she is old enough to remember.)
And you know, the whole experience was magical. Which I’m sure sounds silly to some, but there is nothing like sharing a love with someone you love, and watching them love it too. Nothing like it. So her joy and glee and awe was such a gift to me. Loving it alongside her, was such a gift. Even if was only a hockey game.
As I laid in bed later, I got to thinking about how the whole day had played out.
See, a kind friend, had spontaneously offered me her tickets. And in doing so, fulfilled a long time desire of my heart to go on a girl-date with my best girl. So we got to go, because someone was kind.
We showed up early, so Sweetie Belle could press her face against the glass and watch warm ups. And as we were approaching the ice, a kind attendant pulled me aside and said, “If you want her to really be able to see, go over section 113.” So we moved over and got one of the best views in the house, because an attendant saw fit to be kind to us.
When we got into the ideal section, we were behind a couple kind ladies. They saw little Sweetie Belle and the sign she had made for Holtby and they moved aside and gave her a front row seat as all those men she had only seen on television skated past her. So she got to press her face up against the glass, because some ladies were kind to us.
Then two players skated over and made her entire life by giving her fist bumps through the glass and she stared with wide eyed wonder and then turned to me eyes the size of saucers from the amazement of it all. And she has forever etched in her little mind that Kuzy and Alzner gave her fist bumps, because two professional hockey players, saw fit to be kind to a little girl.
As we walked to our seats, the Red Rockers saw Sweetie Belle. They went out of their way to come say hi. They crouched down so they could look her in the eyes as they spoke with her and told her how adorable her tutu was. They shared their pom poms with her, and even offered her some pom poms of her own. She stood in wide eyed and beamed from ear to ear because she had been made to feel special by some kind ladies who extended her kindness and joy and met her in all her spunk.
And then we sat in our seats and watched Backstrom intentionally mess up the face off, so Mitchell could take the first face off of his professional career with Backstrom and Ovechkin at his side. (If the lingo of that is gibberish to you, you can look it up. Or just take my word that is was disarming kindness, especially on a profession sports level.) Then at the end of the game we saw the players give away the shirts off their backs. And the whole experience, just felt encased in kindness.
And kindness is hard to come by these days.
The pure, out-of-your-way, nothing-in-it-for-me, just-being-kind, kindness. Man, is it underrated and man, are we in short supply of it.
Kindness costs nothing. But being the recipient of kindness? That feels like the you just won the lottery.
Not long ago, I was on the phone with a salesperson, and the conversation ended with me in tears. Not for the reasons that conversations with salespersons often end in tears, but because he was kind. So kind. And I was in need of some kindness. So much so, that a random salesperson on the other end of a phone, treating me with kindness moved me to tears.
It got me thinking about the people in my life who need kindness. The people in my world that I struggle to be kind too. The people who have touched me with their kindness. The people who have caught me off guard with kindness. The way kindness weaves itself into the tapestry of my day.
And ultimately, how kindness looks on a biblical landscape.
“Hesed” is my favorite Hebrew word that is translated “kindness” in the Bible. It is a word that is most often translated, “mercy”, “kindness”, “loving-kindness”, “goodness”, and “kindly”. Precept Austin has a website, where they summarize Hesed like this: “persistent and unconditional tenderness, kindness, and mercy”.(www.preceptaustin.org).
In the Old Testament, and in Jewish culture, the concept of hesed is central, because it is God’s hesed, His loving-kindness, that most strongly characterizes His relationship with His people, the Israelites.
So you know what I got to thinking? I think when we are kind, we look like the Lord. I think that is why it so disarming. And when we experience it? I think it is like a small taste of the Lord’s heart towards us, and that can be life-changing.
I think that is why there are bumper stickers prompting people to “Do random acts of Kindness!” and toting things like “Kindness can change the World.” Because whether you know the Lord personally or not, kindness reflects Him.
So at the risk of sounding like a bumper sticker, (which is the LAST thing I want), go be kind to someone today. Be kind to everyone today. Be kind to those you share your space with, be kind to the person who is far off. Be kind to the stranger and be kind to your neighbor. Be kind to someone who needs it, and someone who claims they don’t. Be kind to someone who deserves it, and someone who doesn’t.
Go ahead. Go look like Jesus today.
“Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness…” Colossians 3:12
“Kind words are like honey, sweet to the soul.” Proverbs 16:24
“Do not let kindness and truth leave you.” Proverbs 3:3
“Be kind to one another.” Ephesians 4:32
“When she speaks, her words are wise, and kindness is the rule for everything she says.” Proverbs 31:26