Fear and Filling

It’s Fearless Friday, so as I was running yesterday I was thinking about what the total opposite of fear would be.

I’m sure there’s more than one answer, but one thing that squeezes fear out is the exuberant filled-up to overflowing joy of the with-God life.  Joy doesn’t leave room for fear.

Kind of like pushing back from the table at Thanksgiving stuffed with deliciousness so you can say “no thanks” to a piece of fear pie.  You’re already full.

We fill up in different seasons in different ways, but Summer just seems made for “tasting and seeing that the Lord is good”

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One More Gift…or Two

At our house the carols have been sung, candles lighted, cookies eaten, snuggling done by the fireplace.  The tree has been given multiple compliments so that it feels secure in its loveliness, and bags of festive crumpled wrapping paper and shiny bows carted out to the trash.

Yes, the gifts have been opened and oohed and aahed over, but there are a few more…A couple I didn’t get delivered to friends and tennis coaches, and Christmas cards still to mail.  Maggie’s fiance, Austin arrives today and his gifts are still waiting under the Christmas tree.

All this gifting focus has prompted me to think about several other gifts that are there every day, but may sit around un-given or unopened in the new year.

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What are the best RAOK’s…really?

On Valentine’s Day I heard something on the radio in the morning.  It was charming…a random act of kindness if you will.  A barbershop quartet, dressed in white tuxes was going around serenading random women for Valentine’s Day.  The woman behind the counter at McDonalds.  The receptionist at a Dr.’s office…Random acts of kindness.

Then recently I heard about a new phenomenon called “cash mob”.  The idea is that 100 people get together and agree to go to a certain mom and pop type store or restaurant and spend at least $20 each to help them out in this bad economy.  Cool idea, huh?

It made me think about the power of a time when a group of us set out to try to bless people in big and small ways throughout the day.  We left coins in the machines at a laundromat.  We handed out bottles of water at a bus station.  We paid for the meal of the person behind us in the drive-through and left calling cards that said “You look great today :)”.

I’ve been trying to be aware of ways that I can offer random acts of kindness.  But then I heard someone the other day who said “God is a going to and dwelling with God.”  And it brought me up short.  Because it’s true.  Jesus left His cushy home in heaven to come and be with us in our mess.  Emmanuel.  And yes, He addressed the mess, but first He was with us.

Maybe there are times when my “being with” is more meaningful than my “doing for”.  Maybe the random act of kindness I can do today is to slow down and look into the eyes of the checkout girl at Target and ask the name of the waitress who serves me, and stop to ask my neighbor how her daughter is doing, and sit and listen to a friend’s story.

What about you?  In what ways might you practice “random acts of kindness”?