Kindness Matters

My husband had just come out of a nearly 13 hour brain surgery and was in intensive care. I had left the room and my mom stayed with him while I was gone. Years later, he still remembers a comforting touch from her. She said no words, no words were needed. It was the simple comfort from a touch that made a difference in that moment. In a time of pain, the comfort a caring touch brought was a gift.

Have you ever taken an extra moment to ask a co-worker how they are?

Have you ever just been there for a hurting friend?

Have you ever been supportive to someone when no one else was supporting?

Have you ever taken the time to notice someone’s hard work and thank them?

Have you ever taken the time to pray for someone?

Have you ever listened attentively to someone when they needed to talk?

Do you know what you did mattered? I mean really mattered?

Do you know you could have changed a life? With a few words, with your actions, with listening, with praying. You could have been the one voice in their life at that moment that they needed to hear to change everything for them. You could have been the one person whose support encouraged them to keep going. You could have been the one person to help them see the love of Jesus. Do you know it could be something they will remember the rest of their life? It could be a defining moment in their life.

What would happen if on those days, just because it was little and you didn’t think it would matter, you chose to not do your act of kindness? What if it was left undone?

“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40

Your actions and your words and your prayers and your love matters. Your kindness matters. It matters to those who receive it. Most important… it matters to HIM. He sees. He knows.

He will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. Hebrews 6:10

We may not be able to help everyone, but we can all help someone. No act of kindness is too small. It all matters. We would love to hear an act of kindness that made a difference for you?

By Jennifer, StudioJRU

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  1. 1

    During this past year and a half I’ve truly never seen so many acts of kindness to
    my family & I. They include:
    -Relatives who have given Love, Encouragement, & monetarily
    -An anonymous jar of money on our doorstep at Christmas
    -Unknown Angels who have sent money in the mail to us
    -A new refrigerator when ours quit
    -Amazing neighbors who have show kindness in a multitude of ways

    When you have those days of total despair, take a moment to reflect on what God has done for you <3 I just did & it truly makes me realize that even when everything around me feels like it is falling apart – God is there & He sends Angels to show us kindness in so many different ways <3 (in)courage devotions are a HUGE part of my Christian growth throughout the most difficult times in
    My life <3 Thanks for this timely reminder today =] Love – Stacey

  2. 3

    For me the smallest acts of kindness have the biggest impact. Getting a free coffee or someone saying thank you for you doing just your everyday work always gives me a boost. Thank you for posting this. I think it’s easy to forget in the business of our everyday lives to remember to do those small acts of kindness for people, as they could change their day, or even their life.

  3. 5

    You know, as you mentioned the touch of your mother-in-law during your husband’s recovery, I think how much more I need to touch my 10 year old son. I am an affectionate mom, but as he gets older, the touching gets less as he doesn’t really seem to need – or want – the snuggling like his little sister. Small touches on the shoulder while we’re talking… that’s my goal today. :) Thanks for your post!

  4. 7

    My sister-in-law has been a good listener for me when I need to vent lately. Last night was one of those times. If she hadn’t answered the phone I probably would have kept on crying (and made myself a batch of brownie mix to eat raw, right out of the bowl).

    • 8

      Being a good listener is a wonderful act of kindness that can really make all the difference at times! So happy to hear your sister-in-law is that person for you Lindsay!

  5. 9

    Amen, sister! This is what it’s all about and leads to so many other blessings.

  6. 11
    Rachel says:

    One little lady who blogs JRU , filling a world with Yellow , spilling in to my kitchen with art, spreading sunshine. Thank you!

  7. 13

    I love that your husband remembers that touch, Jennifer! Thank you for your reminder that our kindness matters. I have been on the receiving end of much kindness: cards in the mail to encourage me through a difficult time, praying over the phone with me when I am feeling alone or someone going out of their way to help me through, all have made a deep love-impression on me :)

    • 14

      How wonderful and amazing to be on the receiving end of such kindness. It really does make a deep love-impression, doesn’t it Jennifer?

  8. 15

    I read James 2 this morning. And then I read a devo about faith…in action. And now this! Lord, are you trying to tell me something?

    Apathy is a problem for me. Thank you for spurring me onward in changing this.

    An action by someone that made a difference for me? I was heading into the hospital to have my second born – and the first lady I see when I walk in – smiles at me really big and wishes me and my baby well. It calmed me down. Small act-huge impact. Will remember it forever.

    Blessings,
    Kate

    • 16

      That is so sweet and just goes to show how something so small can have such an impact that you will remember it forever!! Happy this message was timely for you Kate!

  9. 17
    Christa says:

    I just sent a link to this blog to my neighbor friend. I was in an accident a couple days ago and am stuck on the couch for a while. Yesterday, my neighbor (abbie) sent me a text asking if my 6 year old could have lunch with them, and then she kept her for the afternoon. She checked on how I was doing, and brought over a delicious fruit salad. She was so considerate and thoughtful, it just warmed my heart. Small acts of kindness make a huge difference!

  10. 19

    Thanks for the reminder of just how powerful kindness can be. I can’t remember a specific moment but I know there’s been many times where I’ve been blessed by the kindness of others.

  11. 21

    Beautiful, Jennifer! Thanks for this reminder. XO

  12. 23

    This is music to my ears this morning. Last night, as my grown family sat talking after dinner….my 22 year old son reached his hand across the table to my husband. I knew he just needed a touch and I smiled when his dad reached back out to him and they held hands on our dining room table. It wasn’t anything big or outlandish….just wanted a loving touch in the midst of all the end of the day jabbering.

    Life is so fast. Don’t miss opportunities to love on one another through touch!

    • 24

      Oh how beautiful and sweet!! Thank you for sharing that Wanda!

    • 25

      My future Son~in~law does this to me every once in awhile. My daughter jyst looks @ us like whats that all about. Yet she understands there are times that only one certain person will do at that particular moment.

  13. 26

    I love this. It’s so true. The beauty of our actions is that we don’t always know who we impact, what it meant and how it will affect the future but our kindness does matter. So many people have invested in my life and I am grateful for those moments of impact when we connected at the right time, in the right place.

  14. 28

    When I was living away from where I grew up, I received a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils from a dear friend {something from one of our favorite movies} who sent them simply because she knew my address and that it’d make me smile. She couldn’t have known the day I received it that I’d be moved to tears because of this tiny thing. {I had had a REALLY bad day at work.} I will ALWAYS remember that.

    THEN just last night, I called in an order at the diner I always eat at on Wednesday night. I get there to pick it up and pay and she tells me someone had already paid for it! I was flabbergasted. Just the cap on a day of God showing He loves and cares for us in the teen-einsy-eensiest ways. :)

    • 29

      “you’ve got mail” is one of my favorite movies! A freshly sharpened bouquet of pencils is on of my favorites. Thanks for the smile!

    • 30

      Rebekah… that is so special! Those pencils were a beautiful act of kindness just when you needed it. And to have someone pay for your meal is such a happy surprise! Amazing ways of seeing how HE loves us!!

  15. 31

    So moved by your post today. Thank you, Jennifer!
    He can make every little thing big. Who am I to stand in His way?

    You emphasized a book I read last week “Messy Spirituality”. The author writes:
    “The spiritual life is a tiny life, filled with little decisions. Tiny steps toward God, tiny glimpses of His presence, little changes and small movings, tiny successes and imperceptible stirrings…”
    Striving today to take advantage of every little moment. For His glory.

  16. 33

    God has such a sweet way of nudging us to reach out to others in kindness. I know sometimes I resist, thinking that I will just be intruding. Almost always, though, when I do follow through, the person is so grateful and I am encouraged as well.

    Great post!

  17. 35
    Deanna says:

    I absolutely love this. The past year has made me aware of this more than ever. My husband was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer. He is now cured. During that time it meant so much to the both of us when someone showed they were thinking of us and concerned. Whether it was a phone call, card, hug or encouraging word.

    I have one dear friend that took me aside and asked me if I had just cried my eyes out yet. I said no, everything was fine. About a week later I sat down and had a good cry and told her. She was there for me in a way no one else could have been. Even though I didn’t God knew what I was bottling up and provided her.

    I thought I was pretty good at being thoughtful until then. I try every day to say something or LISTEN to others and remember their needs. I try to overlook when people unknowingly say hurtful things.

    • 36

      That is beautiful how HE provided her just when you needed it most! I am so happy to hear your husband is doing well. So happy to hear how kindness and love was shown to you both when it mattered most!

  18. 37

    Twenty four years ago my father succumbed to depression and committed suicide. It was shocking. As is expected people streamed into our home trying to give comfort but not knowing how. Everyone would hug me and ask how I was. I would lie and say “I’m ok” and they would move on. That is until Linda came. She had been my Young Woman youth leader. She asked me, “how are you?”. I lied and said “ok”. She then said the most powerful words “I know you are NOT OK? How are you really? “. Then she held me while I cried.

    I am now a mother of a daughter the same age I was-nineteen. I am so grateful that Linda didn’t accept my answer and move on. She was an angel that day.

    • 38

      God sent His love and kindness through Linda that day… what a beautiful gesture. I am so grateful you had that angel in your life that day Rose!

  19. 39

    I felt moved yesterday to let an acquaintance know that I was praying for her son who is having some tough, but undiagnosed, digestive problems. She doesn’t attend church, though she does hang out with a bunch of us ladies who do go and I’m always hopeful that one day she’ll join us. She keeps up a “I’m fine” guard quite a bit, but yesterday she let me know that she really appreciated my prayers and reaching out and that it’s really hard to wait for the doctors to figure out what is going on. I’m always so glad when I make those somewhat uncomfortable reaches that the Spirit is pressing me to make. It’s exciting now to think of what He will do with those few sentences that I went ahead and typed out!

    • 40

      So proud of you Jen! Making an uncomfortable reach that the Spirit was pressing you to make is something we can all learn from. You are a blessing to this sweet person. It is exciting to think of what HE will do now!!

  20. 41

    Kindness is a super power. Love this one, Jennifer!

  21. 43

    I am currently teaching the kids in my Wednesday small group the Fruits of the Spirit. Kindness is one of the ones that we talked about in length last night! So cool! This is a beautiful post.

  22. 45

    I was going through a very painful event in my life after finding out a boyfriend was in fact gay. I was actually visiting him far away from my home and had several days left there before I could leave. I was really in pain. One day I was sitting in a cafe, reading and writing and I looked up as a guy, around my age came through the door, looked at me and just smiled at me. It was the most comforting thing to me. It was an innocent and friendly, you are worth a smile, kind of smile. Later on his girlfriend came in. I never saw him again but that smile was golden to me at a time I really needed to know that someone saw me.

    • 46

      These are exactly the moments God sends us when we need them. I am so grateful HE sent this comforting, friendly smile to you Stacey!

  23. 47

    I love this post, Jennifer. Kindness matters so very much. I love that your husband remembers that touch! I have been recently blessed by the outpouring of kindness and “tender mercies” while dealing with melanoma. This week, there have been two deaths that are not people I was particularly close to… but, they were close to my friends… and I have felt the call to be there for them. We are called to hold each other up in times of need… wonderful post!! blessings and thanks ~ tanna

    • 48

      You are such a blessing to feel that call and be there for these people in their time of need. I am grateful to hear you have been feeling the love and kindness pour out to you!!

  24. 49

    Late last summer my dad fell suddenly ill. Because of the nature of his illness, we ended up having to pull him off life support and then wait more than two weeks for him to pass away. It was the most horrific time I’ve ever been through. But through that time, a friend of mine texted me every single day with love, prayers and encouragement. I was so humbled and blessed, and there were days that knowing I was in someone’s thoughts and prayers got me through. We weren’t close enough for her to visit, or give me a hug, but this was something she chose to do. It really was such a simple thing, but it was a tremendous encouragement through a very difficult time.

    • 50

      I am so sorry you had to go through this horrific time, Kim. What a blessing to be able to feel the love, encouragement and prayers from you friend. She was truly a gift from above!

  25. 51
    Beth Williams says:

    I have been on both sides of this coin! When I moved away for college–on my first night alone my neighbor brought supper to me. It was their way of saying hello welcome to the neighborhood. That family took me under their wings and fed me often.

    My church family prayed for me and my family when my mom was ill and even though they didn’t attend that church my pastor and others would visit her in the hospital. My pastor has driven ocer 20 miles one way to visit my dad and discuss certain things with him. He even baptized my dad. When mom died my pastor did the funeral and the church fed my family.

    On the flip side of this: I have written little notes of “I’m praying for you” when a faculty was having to deal with hubby in Florida while she finished work here & sold the house. Also wrote several notes to co-workers–one had a son in jail–another just to tell her how her happy, upbeat mood kept me going at work.

    I find joy in telling others thank you–I’m praying for you when they are going through trials.

    • 52

      That is so sweet to have a family take you under their wing like that. How comforting their kindness must have been! What a blessing to have such a wonderful church family too. Writing those notes of prayer and encouragement… what a blessing you are to those receiving them! I know what a difference a few words can make!

  26. 53

    I have a chronic illness that I have been living with for 5 years that threatens my life. On a night when it was really bad and I couldn’t fill God around me and I just wanted to die 2 of my girlfriends from church came over (it was around midnight) and crawled in bed with me and just listened. They let me be a crying blubbery mess and they just listened & prayed with me. I believe they saved my life that night because the enemy had me in a really dark, hopeless place.

    • 54

      Listening and praying… sometimes that is all we can do and sometimes it is more than we ever know. So grateful they were there for you that night Crystal!

  27. 55

    Loved this article. Good questions. No touch… is ever too small. For anyone, anywhere. Thanks Jennifer.

  28. 57

    so true…Thanks for a great reminder: our little acts of kindness do make a difference. I appreciate so much the friends who pray for me, and who ask, and truly want to know how I am doing. Blessings to you, Jennifer, for all that you do :)

  29. 59
    Sherry says:

    Jennifer, I wish I could tell you how much I appreciate your message and encouragement of kindness. Since becoming disabled years ago I live a much, much different lifestyle. But I look the same as most people. One look at me and you’d never guess I live in a “little rabbit hole,” as I commonly descibe myself. I lost most everything I had in my previous life, including health, career, finances, home, friends, and the list goes on. I live in a small condo with my kitties, my gardens, and a dear friend that helps take care of me. My next door neighbor and I chatted briefly one day and I had explained a little about my disability (fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome). I happened to mention that I really have no one to encourage me (both my adult children live in other states and aren’t fully aware of how I live). I told her I have to encourage myself and one of the ways I do that is to read encouragement cards in card section of stores. A few days later she knocked on my door (which was extremely rare for her) and told me that she had been to our local city womem’s conference. She had an envelope in her hand and told me she picked up something she thought I’d enjoy. The envelope contained little magnetized words you arrange yourself for encouragement and put them on your refrigerator. After she told me what they were, she walked right past me, went into my kitchen and began putting all of them on my frig. I was completely shocked that she even remembered what I had said that day, let alone actually do anything that kind! I will never, ever forget that kindness. But most places kindness enters my life is at Walmart, the bank, or the everyday destinations. These very simple means of kindness give me life! I want every person out there to know that there are many of us out here whose lives are transformed by your very simple words or deeds. Someone once said to me, “Sherry, keep your chin up.” It was a lifeline and I lived on that for 9 months! When you pass me by someday you’ll never guess what a pitiful little life I lead. And if you listen to God’s gentle nudge to do/say something kind, you’ll never, EVER know how those few seconds give me something to live on for months or years. It doesn’t matter who we are or where we come from – kindness is powerful! Thank you, Jennifer, for a timely reminder! May God continue His good works in you!

    • 60

      Thank you so much for sharing your story Sherry! It is just amazing how HE works in our lives and how HE sends those acts of kindness when we need them most. Your story really shows how much kindness can touch someone far beyond what we can imagine. I am so happy you have these reminders of God’s love in your life! I would love for you to go to your magnets and spell out “I am loved” from me to you!

    • 61

      Sherry,
      I have those illnesses also, and they do make life hard. Jesus is why I live. Encouragement given and shared is one of the best parts of life for me. People need people. May God bless you! When Jesus comes again, He will give us the life he always wanted us to have–pain free!

      • 62

        Yes, Joy, Jesus is why we live indeed! He is how we get from today to tomorrow. My heart goes out to you for the struggles you must endure everyday. I know that the word “hard” doesn’t even begin to describe what we live every moment of our lives. May God hold you when the struggle gets too hard, lift you when your chin is dragging the ground, carry you when you can’t walk another step, give you blessings that bring a smile to your face, and warm your heart with a love only He can give. Remember to take good care of yourself!

  30. 63
    Frances says:

    I appreciate all the messages written here. May I please tell you how my adult children blessed me in an unbelievable way. I have always been an active person; but last year injured my achillies & had to wear a boot/brace & use a walker & limit all walking & activities.. I got very depressed about hurting & not seeming to get any better. My 75th birthday was in March. David (45), James (41) & Paula (38) hired a limousine to pick all of us up & take us to a favorite restaurant where they had hired an Elvis impersonator to sing songs for over 30 minutes, That cheered me considerably! I thank the Lord for them. Their kindness truly mattered.

  31. 65

    Beautiful post. Touched reading it. I think most times, we are unaware how even our smallest of kind gestures or assuring words mean a lot to people around. True, we should always choose to show kindness.

    • 66

      I do think we are unaware of the impact our kindness can have. Hoping we can all do something small and know we can make a difference!

  32. 67

    Wonderful post. As you say, it’s often the small acts of kindness which bless us most. The unexpected compliment/comment, the little jobs done by my children without being asked. Kindness and encouragement are so powerful.

  33. 68

    What a great reminder that something small can make a huge difference. For me its when someone gives me an encouraging word when its unexpected.loved this post Jennifer!

  34. 70

    First of all, you shine kindness Jennifer. Truly. Made reading this all the more joyful and authentic.
    I remember back to being silently shy in middle school and a girl across the aisle from me in English class chatting, and being friendly. We’re still friends oodles of years later (hmm. about 30 years!).
    I know I’ve received more kindness than I can ever appreciate, and I hope I’ve shared it with others as well, but the timing of some of those moments are especially tender. I guess that’s why I remember my friend. If it were my place to share the challenging home life she had, the kindness voltage would seem even brighter.

    • 71

      You are so sweet, thank you Amy. Your friend sounds like an amazing person. What a blessing to have that kindness in your life!

  35. 72

    In 2010 my daughter was in septic shock, her organs were shutting down. We were scared and away from home sitting in the hospital all day hoping for a change, praying for miracles. Our friends sent out the message and thousands of strangers were praying for us. (We felt the support.) Our daughter’s co-workers sent us baskets of healthy snacks and bottled water etc. It may seem a very small thing but it meant so much. Rose spent at least a month in the hospital, but thanks to prayer and awesome medical staff the cause of her illness was diagnosed and God performed a miracle.

    • 73

      I know exactly what you mean, Cyndi! We felt the prayers and support and God’s love during all the time my husband spent in the hospital. People reaching out during those situations is nothing small. I am so grateful to hear your daughter is better!!

  36. 74

    “no act of kindness is too small.” amen! i think we sell God’s glory in the little things short. i’m trying not to, to delight in the small acts, KNOWING that He does.

  37. 76
    Celeste says:

    It does matter. Terribly hard season of loss was ushered in for me/family this year. Boss and family friend passed unexpectedly in our office (I was generously given the day off, the Lord knows how much his daughter could handle) in January. Since that time I have seen, felt and experienced HIS out pouring of love through so many towards me. Days when I didn’t think I could keep going at the office the phone call would come at the right moment with a comment “I just knew I had to pick up the phone and call”, or the sudden visit “I could have waited to pick up my order but I felt a need to see you”. It has gone this way for the last three months. His Glory is truly renowned, and his grace is overflowing. The fact that he uses us to minister to one another is truly a privilege. I am astounded at his love for me.

  38. 78

    I have a lot of amazing people in my life, and they are constantly encouraging me with their kind words or letting me know that they are praying for us. I was having a very rough day recently, and a lady I don’t even know very well said some encouraging words. Then my sister-in-law stuck up for me in a touchy situation. It meant a lot to know that she was on my side!

  39. 80

    Beautifully said Jen, and so very true. So often we long to do the “BIG” thing for the Lord, when all the while He wants us to faithfully do the little that mean so very much.

  40. 81

    Jennifer – thanks for valuing the small acts of kindness enough to write and encourage us all that they really do matter. As I looked through the comments – I noticed how you responded to every post…. I know that takes precious time but it sends a message of value to those that shared their comments so just want to say Thank You…

    My small act of kindness was given by someone that I really didn’t know that well. It was the gift of presence. I was sitting in church one Sunday and my husband was speaking and in his message he shared some of my brothers testimony and it was just a very emotional time for me and this precious sister got up from her seat with her family and came and asked me if she could sit with me. I can’t express in words what her gift of presence meant to me. It was like God spoke to me “I am with you” and he sent a precious sister to be his physical touch… Kindness is being sensitive to others and going out of our way to value them as God values us…. Sometimes it’s words, sometimes it’s a deed, but sometimes it’s just the gift of presence in the lives of others…

  41. 82

    Hello. I always try to say a little hello to everyone i meet. It may be the only nice thing
    said to them that day, Once at a superstore, i had a clerk who obviously had, had a bad day. I started to get angry. Then all at once I felt an urge, and I started to really talk to her. All of a sudden her face lit up and she was truly a different girl.
    The year my precious Mother passed away, my Sister got really sick at the funeral home and aspirated on her vomit (tmi, sorry) anyway she had to go to the hospital. Our local hospital did everything they could fpr her and moved her by ambulance to a larger hospital about 2 hours away. After not getting any word from here husband (another story) I drove up to see her. At first Ron wasn’t keen on the idea, but I begged and he finally said yes. Lee Ann was in ICU and in a glass room where she could easily be seen. I asked the nurse if I could go in, but she said no because they weren’t sure if Lee was contagious at this point. So, I went to the glass which was at her feet. I placed my hand on the glass and said,I am praying for you, and I love you!
    She is home now and they never did diagnose her, but a couple of years ago, I told her what I did. She said she thought I had come into the room and held her hand.
    I was so shocked. She said the nurses said that day she started getting better. Lee still can;t believe I wasn’t there. Isn’t the Power of God amazing? Sorry I rambled on. Just felt led…

  42. 83

    I remember being oblivious tp time and space and hearing this beautiful voice lovingly, longingly praising her Lord singing. I learned later that I had been in the “valley of the shadow of death” ( I had no blood pressure and my kidneys had all but shut down). My daughter, Kiersten, who had just left the hospital after over an eighteen hour vigil, had just gotten into her pajamas and lain down, got up, redressed and drove twenty minutes traipsing back to the hospital (apparently at her delirious 105+fevered parent’s request ) to sing to her Mother. What an ethereal. eloquent, exquisite voice!!

  43. 84

    we are neighbors at Kris…we so often look for the big…the flashy…but I think most of life really lies right here…in the small acts of kindness…it makes me think of the scripture…”when did I feed, visit….you”…if these acts where acts they could count …they would not be asking the Lord when…great post….happy Friday:)

  44. 85

    Jennifer,

    I am so thankful you shared this post over at my site today. How true it is that sometimes, (often times) it’s the small generous acts of friends (and strangers) that stir us and show us Christ. What a blessing these words are–thank you!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] please join me at (in)courage for the rest of the post. [...]

  2. [...] All kidding aside, I really do like working with the kids. They are so much more fun than adults most of the time. Our efforts do matter to them…trust me. (You can see why here.) [...]

  3. [...] post was inspired in part by Kindness Matters at Incourage, by Jennifer, and Kindness Week by Emily of Weak and Loved. photo by: peasap [...]

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