Monday, January 14, 2013

Overwhelming Kindness

Have you ever been so overwhelmed by the way someone has given to you? And given, and given, and given... without asking for anything in return?

I have.
And in the midst of being overwhelmed, I've been steadily shown how hard it is for me to receive. To receive something from someone with no way to pay them back, with no real way to show them how thankful you actually are?

It's emotionally unbearable. It's brought me to tears every time I talk about it. I'll probably cry at some point while I write this post.

I recently had a friend overwhelm me with kindness. It was a kindness I didn't deserve, and yet, all I could do was receive it. No money could repay my words, no act, no anything. And so I stood, and I received...and recognized how I was experiencing the Gospel. The Lord used my friend to remind me of His kindness when I am so undeserving of it, His faithfulness when I seem unable to offer my own in return, His grace when I am in desperate need of it, His love when I am fearful of it.

I want to overwhelm someone with kindness.
I want to be someone who gives and gives and gives...and asks (and expects) nothing in return. I want to be that kind of friend. I want to be that kind of roommate. I want to be that kind of daughter, that kind of sister, that kind of co-worker, that kind of mentor. And, simultaneously, I know I need to be someone who is able to also receive it.

For as hard as it was for me to receive gift upon gift from a friend, I've realized how this paralleled my struggle to receive from the Father. The moments when I'm overwhelmed by His grace and mercy and love pouring out over my life are the moments when I feel the desperate need to somehow repay my debt. And then I come crashing to a halt where I realize I can do nothing...and I fall on my face, no words able to communicate how truly grateful I am. It's one of the most humbling things I can think of.

Our debt has not only been paid, but we serve a God who continually lavishes goodness upon us. A God who gives and gives and gives. And even when we don't always feel like it, and even when we feel forgotten and abandoned in the midst of various circumstances...the storm clears, and we see, yet again, Christ's faithfulness throughout it all. We see the way He provided for us, the way He brought us into an even better that we never thought possible.

I pray that you remember that...and I pray that you can receive that, even in the times where God might feel far from you. I pray that He would bring someone into your life to remind you tangibly of what it means to receive when you feel most undeserving of someone else's kindness. I pray that He would heap goodness upon you.

And I pray that we also might be people who simply overwhelm others with kindness. That we would go out of our way, that we would sacrifice, that we would live selflessly... because we believe that other people matter more than ourselves.

Wouldn't that be beautiful?
I think so, too.

I'm thankful for overwhelming kindness.
It's life-changing.

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