I have two very special friends.
After Dominic died and the meals and visits and cards had dwindled and the silence and heartbreak had become oh-so-overwhelming, they came out to spend the day with me.
The whole day.
With this crying, couldn’t hold it together, didn’t know what to say mama who had buried her son just weeks ago.
They brought lunch. And let me talk–or not. They didn’t try to fix me, didn’t offer platitudes or Bible verses to smooth things over when conversation lagged. They hugged me and listened.
And they have been doing this every few weeks since.
It costs them a whole day and it’s 60 miles each way–but they keep coming and keep lifting me up so that grief and sorrow don’t drown me.
This time of year social networks buzz with posts and tweets and Instagrams of “random acts of kindness”. That’s a good thing.
But on a scale of 1 to 10, those are easy.
We pick a stranger, discern a way to help (maybe paying for a meal or a coffee) and then both walk away feeling warm and fuzzy. No relationship, no commitment.
Relational Acts of Kindness are much harder.
We can’t just do our thing and leave. Our hearts and resources are going to get tangled up with theirs.
It might get expensive.
That’s what my friends did. They leaned into relationship with me even though it was messy, and hard, and costly.
So my challenge to you is this: who do you know that could use a relational act of kindness? A neighbor? A distant relative? Someone who sits alone in a pew?
There is no greater kindness than coming alongside someone at just the moment they feel their strength is gone.
I know that without these friends I would not be able to bear my grief nearly so well. I pray that God will bless them abundantly as they have been a blessing to me.
“Help carry one another’s burdens, and in this way you will obey the law of Christ.”
~Galatians 6:2 GNT