Have you ever wondered exactly ‘how’ the Holy Spirit moves through us when we are used by God to do great things. It’s pretty incredible to think about exactly ‘how’ his love moves through us and is shown by small acts of kindness.
This train of thought I’ve been dissecting started in a Kroger parking lot. It was only 11AM, but it had already been a crazy day. My hair was a hot-mess, and I was on my way to a birthday lunch in downtown Houston for a friend and fellow blogger. There were sure to be other bloggers… and where there are bloggers… there are pictures. Obviously, I COULD NOT go lookin’ like a train wreck! I dashed into Kroger, grabbed hair ties, snagged a Starbucks for the road, before sprinting back in the car.
I was making great time!
Mid-hustle, I passed a man whose car battery had obviously died. I had cables in my trunk, but I was in such a hurry! Plus, I assumed someone else surely would help him.
After getting in my car, I took a swig of my coffee, and like a ton of bricks on my chest, the Holy Spirit convicted me. If you are not familiar with Christianity, the Holy Spirit is the part of God that lives with us, guides us, gives us wisdom, intuition, joy, discernment, and conviction.
As I sat there, I thought to myself that it did not matter how busy I was, or what I had going on in life. What mattered was getting my booty over there and helping this man. This man was black, and I was convicted that in a time where racial tension is high, there was nothing… NOTHING… more important than a white female breaking barriers and helping a black male.
Rolling my car up to his, I asked him if I could help jump his car. We stood in the front of the parking lot, a black man, and a white woman, making small talk as he used my cables. I hate admitting it, but we did get a couple of odd looks. I won’t try and interpret them, but was broad daylight, a nice part of town, and this man (regardless of race) looked as tame as a butterfly. This damsel was not in any distress.
Suddenly, the man looked up at me and said, “You know, I’m surprised you stopped. Most people would have just walked on by.” He didn’t have to expand on this for me know know what he really meant. I simply replied that, “There’s nothing more important than helping others.”.
When I got in my car I became overwhelmed and started to cry. Not a sad cry, an emotional cry. Feeling silly, I started shaming myself. I felt guilty that I was happy with myself for helping someone, and that I was moved by my own actions. Surely, this was pride and not the right attitude to have! I’m supposed to be humble, not egotistical in my act of kindness!
I have felt this exact same feeling many times before.
Driving on, I began praying. I knew I had done the right thing by helping this man. What was God wanting me to feel right now?
While listening to music, I began reflecting on the times that I have read, heard, or watched impactful stories of someone doing incredible acts of service for others, or delivering a breathtakingly inspired speech or sermon. Stories that move me to tears every single time.
Then a light-bulb went off.
If I am moved to tears by other people’s stories, then more than likely after accomplishing whatever great act of service they performed, they were moved also. Surely, they were packed with their own emotions. What they did helped people. Unless they are cold or numb, what they experienced had to have moved them deeply.
All of a sudden, I came to a new revelation. When we are used by God for good, whether it be an act of service or delivering a speech, the Holy Spirit moves in us. We don’t get to take all of the credit. Whatever we did, we couldn’t do entirely without Him. He quite literally moves in and through us to affect others. Take a moment and let that sink in. Visualize it if you need to. What I’m hoping is that you gain a deeper understanding, just like I did. I am a visual learner so I’m going to paint a picture for you. This is to create a tangible illustration of something that is far out of many of our comfort zones.
Imagine you are doing something because you feel like God wants you to do so. For the sake of understanding, visualize the Holy Spirit as a glowing, vapor-like, energy stirring inside us. It swirls and intensifies as we serve others, and then the glowing energy magnifies and spreads to others, igniting the room. It spreads joy, peace, hope, love, and gives others a glimpse of God. When we are used by God, the Holy Spirit literally moves within us to reveal God’s Holy character to others. Can you imagine? A glimpse of the Almighty God, being revealed through us? That’s powerful stuff!! If that doesn’t warrant some type of emotion to be stirred up within us, then I don’t know what does?
If I run a mile on the treadmill, that energy makes me feel both accomplished and exhausted all at the same time. I’m suggesting that being used by God would create a similar feeling. You might feel any array of emotions from excitement, exhaustion, or like I did, where my emotions felt like they had been on a spiritual treadmill. I just needed a moment to cry it out a bit!
Okay… if you’re still with me, I applaud you! I realize this is a bit deeper topic than I usually write about. I’m about to get gritty.
After coming to these realizations that it was totally okay to feel ‘spent’ after doing a random act of kindness, I felt another conviction! And it’s a conviction that I feel applies to the church body as a whole.
If we are not regularly and continually doing acts of service that move us to weep, bring us to our knees, or elicit some type of emotion, we are not truly living our lives sold out for Him. I’m not putting your salvation into question here. The Bible specifically says that we are saved by grace and not works. Thank you Jesus!
But as believers we are called to share God’s love with everyone we encounter. That means the random dude at the grocery store, or even your jerk co-worker. My encouragement to you is to take the ‘randomness’ out of ‘Random Acts of Kindness’. There should be nothing random about it. We should be intentional in our daily lives. In our hourly lives. Minute to minute.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Colossians 3:12
Clothe yourself. As in clothes you wear every day. It’s not a facade for a couple days per month, or clothes you should be able to remove when something doesn’t go your way.
Being kind and sharing God’s love to others is freeing. Once you get in a groove it becomes nature. Doing a something that makes you go out of your way, like stopping to jump a strangers car, or feeding the homeless can leave you on a spiritual high for days. Why wait long periods of time until you do it again. Do those things consistently. Allow Christ to work through you in big, magnificent ways. You won’t be sorry.
When you die, will people say that you were kind randomly? Or will they say that you knew what it meant to love others well?