Intentional Kindness

Fall flowers

Random acts of kindness are not random; they are intentional. The person acting in kindness is intentionally, thoughtfully expressing their inner joy to others. There is nothing random about it. This gift of kindness became very real to me last week in a “random,” unexpected way.

I was wandering through Trader Joe’s. I had only a couple of items to pick up, but I was on the phone with my sister.  I don’t like going into the checkout while being on the phone. I think it’s rude. So, I wandered the store and continued to put things in my basket. There might be a new business model in that concept. Anyway, I couldn’t wander anymore. The basket was now heavy. I began closing the conversation with my sister as I entered the checkout.

I immediately apologized to the cashier for being on the phone and told him I was getting an update on my mom. He said it was no problem and continued scanning my purchases. Then he asked, “How is your mom?” A little stunned, I replied that she was okay and that the symptoms of her heart disease were progressing, so we were needing to make some changes. He looked me dead in the eye and said, “I know exactly what that’s like.” I smiled and scanned my credit card. Then he told me not to leave, but to follow him. He went over to the wall of flowers, picked out a beautiful bouquet, handed them to me and said, “Give these to your mom.” I could hardly hold back the tears.  That is intentional kindness. 

His kindness was more than the flowers. His kindness was in his willingness to ask the question, “How is your mom?” That kindness is the fruit of God’s spirit. It comes from deep within us. It happens when God has intimately transformed our souls in a way that we can’t help but respond to others in a personal manner that has this profound sense of care.

22 By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. (Galatians 5:22-23 NRSV).

What a different world this would be if we could all embrace intentional kindness. This has me thinking about how I treat the people closest to me, as well as the stranger. Am I living the fruits of the Spirit? My answer is, “Sometimes.” I can definitely do better. (A side note, the cashier looked like Santa :0).

How about you? How are you intentional? Your story can make a difference. Share and we can encourage each other.


4 thoughts on “Intentional Kindness

  1. Oh, Mary, this is such a good reminder to me! I’m sure that cashier at Trader Joe’s had no idea that the story of his kindness (probably a small thing to him) would be spread far and wide and encourage others to do the same. Thank you for the reminder to always be intentional in kindness. Indeed – how awesome this world would be if we all embraced this concept. Bless you, friend! (praying for your Mom and your family).

    1. Thank you Jane. I’ll carry his kindness for a long time. Good will use it for so much more than he imagined.

  2. Wow – how cool was that!?!? Glad you got to experience it. Sometimes it just takes the reminder of others how kind this world can be. It’s easy to focus on the bad stuff that is shoved in our faces all the time. If more things were reported like this, we might have a paradigm shift in our own thinking and acts of kindness! Wouldn’t THAT be cool!?

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