#449 – Courageous Kindness; Day 4 of 5

For the long haul.

Scriptures: Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, John 15:13-17, Romans 12:10

When my friend made the offer, I didn’t even know what to say. I mean, of course the answer was an emphatic yes! But I was also speechless.

My boys were five, four, and two that summer when my friend Mindy asked if she could watch them for a couple hours one day a week to give me time to write—or do whatever I needed, or just be. As a mom with littles, time alone was the most scarce and sacred resource. I longed for it, prayed for it. Mindy knew this from experience because she had two girls around the same ages as my sons.

What boggled my mind and made a lasting imprint on my heart and in our friendship was the fact that Mindy wasn’t just helping me in a pinch or stepping in during a crisis. She was actively looking for a way to love me, to invest in our friendship by serving me on an ongoing basis. And the kicker? She did so without asking for anything in return.

I remember one particular morning that summer when I spent two glorious hours at Corner Bakery savoring a caramel latte and a large piece of cinnamon coffee cake while working on a blog post for my tiny corner of the internet. I was so full of gratitude for this slice of time away. Yet as soon as I pulled back into Mindy’s driveway, I broke down in unexpected and uncontrollable tears.

What’s wrong with me? I cried out to God as my friend helped buckle my squirmy, didn’t-want-to-leave boys into their car seats. I felt ashamed of the emotions I couldn’t name or explain. Was I not thankful enough? Did I not love my kids and my life enough? Did I not trust God enough with the things that weighed heavy on my heart even after enjoying the gift of my friend’s kindness?

But Mindy didn’t judge my tears. She just hugged me. She reminded me that I’m a great mom and it’s okay to cry even if you don’t know why. She told me that my boys were wonderful and she loved having them over.

“I can’t wait until next week!” she said, standing with her sweet daughters in the driveway and waving us goodbye.

Prayer for today:

Oh Jesus, what a friend I have in You. Thank You for reminding me of Your love and loyalty through the pages of Scripture and the stories in my own life. Help me to follow Your example of loving others well. Empower me today to live a life of courageous kindness for the long haul. Amen.

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