I opened her card and 4 stamps fell out; tears welled up in my eyes as I regarded this tiniest gesture of kindness and read her words of loving support. It was just a simple note and they were only 4 stamps, but the faithful love that emanated from them was balm upon my hurting soul.
This season that I’m in is a lonely one. I am far away from home and the isolation is heavy. It is a new experience for me to be in a place where hardly anyone knows that I exist. The people who do care about me are time zones away from me, living their lives. I hate the feeling of vulnerability that comes from depending on others to pause their busy schedules so that I can have some semblance of a social life. The endless unpacking, the cleaning that is becoming more necessary every day, the daunting tasks of finding doctors, dentist, a church and my way around this land mass are intimidating. I want to share how I feel, but I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining or unaware of the fact that seasons come and go, therefore “this too shall pass.” I know – but that knowledge doesn’t change the level of difficulty in my life at the moment nor its speed of passing.
Each season brings with it a unique form of harvest: flowers in the spring, hay in the summer, bounty in the fall, firewood in the winter. This season of isolation is bringing a unique harvest to me as well. I am finding myself much more in tune with the lives of others; there is something about one’s own pain that creates a unique empathy for the pain that others feel. I have even begun reflecting on the numerous occasions in my past when I was so consumed with my own full and busy life that I tuned out the hurt that belonged to others. I now realize that kindness usually requires the sacrifice of time because true kindness does not wait for convenience. I have felt the sting of the words “too busy” and am trying to delete them from my vocabulary so that I no longer inflict that hurt upon someone else.
We are all in a season. Perhaps you are in a season of plenty: friends and family surround you, good health is abundant, your cup is overflowing with every good thing. Perhaps you are in a season of sorrow: saying good-bye to a loved one, feeling the loss of a needed job, abandoned by someone you thought you could trust. Perhaps you are in a season of isolation, like me: in a new place or in a relationship or in your walk with God. Whatever it may be, seek the harvest that comes with that season. Store up the goodness, learn the lessons, and reach out to those around you. And no matter which season you are walking through, take time to be kind. It could be taking a video of familiar surroundings for a friend who is homesick, bringing a meal and some company to a mom with a brood of little ones or slipping 4 stamps in a card and mailing it. There is always more room for kindness in this hurting world.