Do you ever wonder what kind of impression you make on people?
I was sitting in the Waffle House yesterday morning when I heard the staff talking about a regular customer who had died. They were going on and on about what a wonderful man he was and how he was always so kind. I must have inherited Granny’s nosiness as I was eavesdropping and finally heard his name. I didn’t have Tommy Sublett as my teacher, but I knew who he was and always saw kindness shining from him — there was a beautiful light in his eyes. What a legacy to leave behind!
As I drove back to my office, I hoped that when news of my own death comes that people will be able to say that one of the things they saw in me was kindness. Lord knows I haven’t always made kindness my choice, and I have some serious regrets about those times. There is a space inside me that can be pretty ugly and mean. Back when I was a teen, I was involved in some hair pulling and on more than one occasion used my shoe as a weapon. Even as an adult, I have not always taken the high road. I was raised to be a fighter. Thankfully, one day I woke up and realized that love is the best weapon.
It makes me feel good inside when I use love instead of a smart tongue or my shoe. I want to make up for the time in my life when I have been unkind. I want to show kindness and love to everyone I encounter — even people that seem to deserve it the least — like the lady in Target yesterday who was being mean to the staff. Honestly, the mean ones are the people who need it the most. A little observation and one can easily see that most mean people are people in pain or ignorance or fear. We just don’t take the time to observe and react instead.
Our world is overflowing with a whole lot of fear and unkindness. I’m sure it always has, but the internet and the news allow us to see it moment by moment if we so choose. I wish we worked as hard to find a common place of understanding instead of working so hard to find the places we are divided. I wish for every criticism we throw out we could give three things that are good. I wish we didn’t judge people by the color of their skin or what kind of religion they do or don’t practice. I may never see that, but I will continue to hope and pray for it.
Maybe one day we will all wake up and know that this little life is just a blink and then it’s over. Maybe we will know that what we do to others we are also doing to ourselves. Maybe that will drive us to change. And we won’t do it because we want people to say nice things about us after we die but because it is the way our Creator would have it and it feels good.
A girl can wish, right? If I could shift to love after years of being taught that fighting with my fists or my shoe was the way of the world there is hope for everyone else too.
Please say a prayer for Mr. Sublett’s family and friends.
Much love and light to all of you!