34 | small kindnesses #Lent2022

Jesus says, “Those who dwell in me and I in them bear much fruit.” (John 15:5a)

I’ve been thinking about the way, when you walk
down a crowded aisle, people pull in their legs
to let you by. Or how strangers still say “bless you”
when someone sneezes, a leftover
from the Bubonic plague. “Don’t die,” we are saying.
And sometimes, when you spill lemons
from your grocery bag, someone else will help you
pick them up. Mostly, we don’t want to harm each other.
We want to be handed our cup of coffee hot,
and to say thank you to the person handing it. To smile
at them and for them to smile back. For the waitress
to call us honey when she sets down the bowl of clam chowder,
and for the driver in the red pick-up truck to let us pass.
We have so little of each other, now. So far
from tribe and fire. Only these brief moments of exchange.
fleeting temples we make together when we say, “Here,
have my seat,” “Go ahead — you first,” “I like your hat.” Ω

Reflect: Where have you seen a small kindness lately? A cheerful patience? An unobtrusive demonstration of self-giving love? Perhaps you could show a small kindness, an extra courtesy, to a stranger next time you are out and about.

What is this? Lent is the 40 days, excluding Sundays, before Easter. Traditionally it is a time of reflection and pilgrimage. To help you on this journey, Sanctuary has put together 40 stories from people both within and beyond the congregation, with associated questions for reflection and prayer. A reading will be uploaded every day of Lent. This year’s theme is Fruit of the Spirit. Why? Read this#Lent2022. Real People, Real Stories: 40 Readings for Lent © Sanctuary, 2022. From Danusha Laméris. ‘Small Kindnesses’ in Healing the Divide: Poems of Kindness and Connection. James Crews (ed.) Brattleboro, VT: Green Writers Press, 2019.

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