We’ve been blessed to live in the same neighborhood for over a decade. For the past eleven or so years, I’ve pounded the pavement in my neighborhood for exercise. I’ve walked up and down the streets through four pregnancies, negotiated the hills jogging to lose weight, and pushed stroller, after stroller, ’round the block during toddler melt-down hour and to encourage naps.
Walking the ‘hood is the best way to be a nosy neighbor. I know when neighbors move, when they are remodeling, when their babies are born, and when their teenagers make the drill or sports team. I know who puts their Christmas tree up first, and who leaves their multi-colored lights outside all year long. I’ve found a great plumber, loads of babysitters, and spied great landscaping tips all from noticing what’s going on in my neighborhood.
About a mile and a half into my walking route, I am guaranteed a smile. Every time I pass this house, my heart overflows a little.
The owners of this house put a water fountain on the edge of their property so that thirsty walkers, joggers, and cyclists can stop for a cool sip of water. As if that wasn’t enough, they added a pet bowl for equally thirsty companions. Remember the bumper sticker rage that promoted Practice Random Acts of Kindness? The water fountain in our neighborhood is certainly an example of a random act of kindness.
As I passed the water fountain on my afternoon walk yesterday, I began to consider kindness and how we are called to be kind. Kindness seems like such a simple virtue it’s easy to take for granted. Yet, kindness is expected of us as one of the aspects of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). We are called to imitate God’s kindness in the way we treat our family, our friends, and in the way we relate to our neighbors and those we meet each day.
What random, or rather intentional, act of kindness will you show others today?
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness;
and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control;
and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness;
and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.
2 Peter 1:5-7