I chose to go inside and order my meal rather than wait in the long drive-thru line. I don’t like to profile or characterize but the woman bagging my dinner was the all too common minimum wage earner. She had a few missing teeth, her hair looked ratty and her reaction to the other workers was gruff and at times downright rude. As she handed me my bag she remarked, “A dinner for a king,” and I quickly replied, “Prepared by a princess.” She began to cry and walked around the counter, gave me a strong hug and sobbed,”Nobody says anything nice to me anymore.” I’m glad I brought a moment of sunshine into another person’s life.
A verse in the book of Proverbs is as true today as when it was first written,
“Anxiety weighs down the heart,
but a kind word cheers it up.”
We all need those special expressions of cheer. Whether coming from family members, spouses, neighbors, co-workers or just a plain old stranger everyone needs to hear a kind word. They are the lubricant for the soul giving movement to rays of hope, languages of affection and the journeys of faith. We have been taught by Jesus to, “Love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:39) and “Do to others what you would have them do to you.” (Matthew 7:12).
“To love him with all your heart,
with all your understanding and with all your strength,
and to love your neighbor as yourself
is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
What’s wrong with just being pleasant? And why do some find it so hard to share a friendly smile, give a pleasing compliment or say the elusive but much needed kind word?
It all begins with one small voice. Yours.