Opportunities for acts of kindness are everywhere.


 As I am writing this, I am reflecting on the funeral I just attended. Funerals have a way of taking our minds and emotions to places we seldom go. It was a wonderful service, full of recollections and reflections, laughs, and tearful honoring of a life totally dedicated to God. It was a celebration of a life well lived by a man of God who not only ran a great race, but finished strong.

It was meaningful to me because of all that we had shared over the thirty-three years I have known him, ministered with him (in Africa), and hung out with him. It was also meaningful because we are the same age. Cancer and a subsequent stroke led him to an early departure from this earth, but the reality of our ages drove me to spend some time contemplating the very real fact that none of us know which day, or breath, may be our last.

It’s times like this that force us to consider what people will say (or not say) about us at our funeral. This morning was mostly a celebration of a life well lived on earth and the infinitely greater life he is now experiencing in the presence of his Lord. My thoughts soon came to rest on the message I want to share, and that is, “Why wait?’ Why wait for our friends and family members to die before we honor them for their contributions to our lives? My sister and brother-in-law and their extended family are great at this. Milestone birthdays and anniversaries become trips down memory lane, full of heart-felt stories and words of encouragement and appreciation. Each celebration is a really big deal, and my life is richer for having been part of many such well-planned and spontaneous events.


Eventually, my wandering and pensive reflections came to rest on the message God was speaking to me. Life is full of opportunities for a spontaneous celebration of someone’s life while they’re still here with us. Why wait to show our appreciation? We are surrounded by people who have made our life richer. Why wait to tell them? Our worlds are full of people desperately needing to hear that someone values them. Why not be that someone? Every day, we have opportunities to say a word of encouragement to someone. It’s not difficult to find them. Just open your eyes.

It’s a shame that this whole idea is something most of us have to work at. This is basic Christianity. Jesus modeled this kind of a life so that we would follow in His steps. He sought out the hurting and downtrodden. His whole life was one of unbridled compassion. It reflected who He was. For true followers of Christ, we have everything we need to do the same. We have Christ in us. We have the Holy Spirit. Let’s be about our Master’s business wherever life takes us, and let’s start now. Why wait?



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