Each and every one of us has the opportunity to be a point of light for those we come in contact with. Our acts of love and kindness also spread far beyond our immediate vision. If we keep our hearts open to God as we go through the day it does make a difference. Both for others and ourselves!
Just before Christmas last year I went to the local Wal-Mart to pick up a few things on my way home. Since I only had a couple of items, I got into the express lane for checkout. The store was crowded with shoppers, and our lane moved along slowly until it got to the elderly woman in front of me who was accompanied by her son. The line came to a complete halt as she fumbled in her purse looking for something. Then the murmuring began in those lined up behind me. Even the man who served as the Salvation Army bell-ringer, whom I recognized, began complaining impatiently.
At that moment I felt a nudge to sing HU, a love song to God, which I had learned years ago at the Nature Awareness School. I sang it out loud in a very soft voice just below the din in the store. As I sang I happened to look up into the store’s high ceiling and felt unmistakably a blanket of God’s Peace descend on all of us standing there in line. The murmuring and complaining subsided, and when the son turned to me to apologize for the wait, I was able to respond with a reassuring smile and wish them both Merry Christmas.
It was only months later when I shared in a class at Nature Awareness School that I realized what had transpired that day. Del, my teacher, reminded me of a prayer I had written months before, a prayer asking for help to get over my self-centeredness. In the past I had served more often for the recognition or a pat on the back; but this was an opportunity to serve as a silent Co-worker for God. Del pointed out the potential ripple effects of singing HU that day in the checkout line and reminded me, “No act that is motivated by love is small or insignificant.” Thanks in large part to his teaching and the Grace of God, I responded to that nudge by singing HU from my heart into the chaos of the store.
The joy and fulfillment that filled my heart that day and since then by sharing my story with others trumps any recognition I ever received previously from my old idea of service. And this was no random act of kindness either. It is becoming a way of life for me and a source of eternal gratitude to the Divine. I truly find more joy in service now that it is not about me.
Written by James Kinder