Galatians 6:9a - Let us not lose heart in doing good.
Most of us are unaware how the littlest things we do, the choices we make, the smallest of kindnesses can affect ourselves and others. We generally go through our day and our lives unaware of the potential to change ourselves and others. The smallest of things we choose to do can create a ripple effect of change. We need to just let go and drop our unconscious walls to see these daily opportunities.
I like to use the kindness of holding a door open for someone as an example. I walk through many doors in a day. My normal reaction is to hold the door open for others. There are occasions I “forget” because I am too occupied with what I am doing, like playing with my iPhone or immersed in my own self-centered thoughts, but those instances are fairly rare. I make a conscious effort to be in the moment and be aware of those around me when I am going through a closed door in order to determine if someone close by is also headed in the direction of the door. It isn’t just a polite thing to do to hold a door open for someone. It makes me feel good and it makes those I am holding the door for feel good. Sometimes I get a heartfelt “thank you”. Sometimes I don’t get any reaction or acknowledgement at all. But it doesn’t matter. It changes my day and I often feel like I am also changing someone else’s day, even if there is no outward reaction to having me hold the door open for them by a “thank you” or smile.
When holding a door open for others there is always an unexpected and brief moment where there is a mutual acknowledgement of God’s love in one another. There is a passing of love and care in the simple gesture of holding doors for others and responding to those small acts of kindness. It is symbolic of the possibility of opening doors to the hearts of others, no matter how brief that moment may be. Those moments can be quite powerful. It isn’t just powerful when there is acknowledgement or “thank you’s” – it can be just as powerful when there is no acknowledgement at all. It is a moment when one has the chance to practice unconditional love.
It is easy to respond with love when someone else responds with love. How easy is it to respond with kindness or love when there is no response to your act of kindness or love? The next time you do something kind or act out of love for someone and they do not respond or acknowledge it, try to respond with love, compassion and understanding, even though it may be difficult. You never know how that might help to open the door to their walled or troubled heart. Opening doors for others doesn’t just have the possibility of opening the hearts of others, it has the potential to open the door to your own heart.