“Wherever there is a human in need,
there is an opportunity for kindness and to make a difference.”
-Kevin Heath, Ceo More4kids
New journeys, often brought on by one of those blasted blind corners, bring new experiences, which enlarge our capacity and increase our awareness to the needs of others. On the eve of Hurricane Sandy, I felt compelled to visit my mom. Only two days after her surgery, I just felt a need to be at the hospital. The rain had started, but no real threat ensued. Earlier that day, Rob, Brooke, and I had stopped in, but for some odd reason, I felt a need to go back. My “flesh” wanted to take a nap but my “spirit” kept nudging me. As they battled one another, eventually my spirit won!
The minute I stepped foot into the ICU, Kat grabbed my arm and pulled me aside.
“Janell, listen, your mom’s a little out of sorts tonight, but it is temporary…. trust me. Day Three brings brain swelling.”
The next few minutes were hard. Nothing prepares you for an aging parent. Mom and I have talked about this and her own words say it best, “Aging isn’t for sissies.”
You can say that again.
Trying desperately to hide my anxiety about her “bad day,” I smiled and offered my scones.
“Millie, Janell brought delicious scones,” Kat announced, while plumping up Mom’s pillows and trying desperately to make her comfortable. “Let’s have some scones, Millie, what do you think?”
“Yeah,” Mom smiled. “That sounds good.
“Do you want some Irish butter, Mom?” I asked.
“Sure!” she smiled once again.
As I unfolded the foil they were wrapped in, I handed a batch of scones to Kat and asked that she offer them to the rest of the ICU staff.
“Fabulous,” she laughed. “You bet we want some!”
Minutes later, as my Mom enjoyed her scone, another ICU nurse walked over.
“Janell, I have to share this with you,” she said. “The patient in that room over there,” she pointed, “hasn’t eaten one thing in two days. We’ve tried everything, yet to no avail. We’ve been going out of our minds to find something she would eat. When Dan [another ICU nurse] told her he had some fresh pumpkin cranberry scones, her face lit up! She ate it all and wants more,” she smiled. “We can’t thank you enough, wow.”
At that particular moment in time, I was so grateful m spirit won that wrestling match. Who knew a simple batch of scones would bless not only my own mom, but also a woman I will never meet or know. I share this for one reason: we never ever know what our simple acts of obedience to Christ will bring.
Today is Thanksgiving Eve and I couldn’t be more grateful. Defined, grateful simply means, “Feeling or showing an appreciation of kindness.” As Christians, we know kindness is a fruit of the Spirit but do we live a life founded on kindness? So often, kindness is in direct conflict with selfishness, isn’t it? Who wants to be kind when sitting in miles and miles of holiday traffic? When Aunt Jo or Uncle Bill bring their dark cloud of grumpy to the table? Who wants to exercise kindness after standing and cooking a buffet of food and not one person says “thank you?” Who on earth wants to be kind or appreciative when a blind corner brings the unexpected?
It is my earnest prayer this Thanksgiving that somewhere, somehow, you find a moment of great joy amid all the family hoopla. I know that many of you are facing a blind corner, and therefore, need Jesus more than ever.
As you sit around your Thanksgiving tables, perhaps considering the blind corner you are facing today or one you’ve faced this past year, remember the lessons and blessins’ we’ve been talking about:
- Blind corners don’t take God by surprise, they take us by surprise.
- Blind corners cause us to either pause and proceed with great caution or completely stop to assess.
- Blind corners require good decision making skills & require us to “turn the headlights on” i.e. turn to the LIGHT of God’s word.
- Blind corners lead us to a life exercise in selflessness & patience.
- Blind corners often lead us to examine self-care and the establishment of new boundaries.
- Blind corners bring new relationships and new experiences.
- Blind corners remind us that the little things are often the big things. Never underestimate the power of NOW. Being present in the moment.