We are at our best when we are givingThis year, Valentine’s Day falls right in the middle of Random Acts of Kindness Week. When I realized this, it got me thinking: What if, instead of just focusing on one day of showing love to our sweetheart, we spent a whole week doing small things to show love and kindness to those around us?
By: Kari van Wakeren, Pastor, First Lutheran Church, Alexandria Echo Press
This year, Valentine’s Day falls right in the middle of Random Acts of Kindness Week.
When I realized this, it got me thinking: What if, instead of just focusing on one day of showing love to our sweetheart, we spent a whole week doing small things to show love and kindness to those around us?
I think that’d be really neat, and I speak from personal experience.
Not long ago my family and I were in Target when my son needed his diaper changed. On the changing table I found a Ziploc bag with two diapers in it and a note that read, “You’ve been touched by a random act of kindness. If you can use these diapers, please take them; otherwise, leave them for someone else.”
That simple gesture got me thinking about similar things my family and I could do to spread some loving kindness: pay the tab for the person behind us at the coffee shop or bring cookies to our neighbors.
Other ideas that might suit you include giving your bus driver a thank you note, gifting someone tickets to an event, or letting someone go ahead of you in line.
Scripture tells us that “Love is patient…love is kind…” This is helpful to keep in mind, especially as advertisers try to tell us that love is a box of chocolates…love is a fancy dinner out…love is a bouquet of flowers.
These are all nice things, and it can be fun to have a special night out or receive a bouquet of flowers. But at the same time, I’d advocate for doing acts of loving kindness – in our families, our workplaces and our community – that endure beyond one day on the calendar.
Personally, I believe we are at our best when we are giving, even when what we are giving is a simple and random act of kindness. After all, we are created in the image of God and God is the most generous giver there is.
So this Valentine’s Day, in addition to giving your sweetheart a kiss, consider doing a random act of kindness. As you do, I invite you to remember how much God loves you, and how this love is one that will never run out, never dry up, never fail.
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Kari van Wakeren is a pastor at First Lutheran Church in Alexandria. She can be reached at email@example.com and blogs at hiccupsandsomersaults.
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