“You cannot be too gentle, too kind. Shun even to appear harsh in your treatment of each other. Joy, radiant joy, streams from the face of one who gives and kindles joy in the heart of one who receives.” — St. Seraphim of Sarov
When my youngest son came into the room, I could tell he wanted to tell me something, probably about his long adventure outside in the woods, but I felt I didn’t have time for a long boy story so instead of listening, I quickly gave him a little task to do elsewhere while I continued with my own work.
He agreed to do what I asked, but then he hesitated before cryptically saying “The flowers sure are beautiful”.
Confused, I thought of the slightly wilted flowers I brought home from Kroger last week. Wanting to give me a hint, my son pointedly glanced over to a little vase filled with wildflowers which he had just gathered for me.
These flowers were beautiful- especially since he had so lovingly picked them for me. I made an appropriate fuss and he felt appreciated and loved.
I was so thankful he called my attention to his gift. I might have gone a few hours without noticing them. If I hadn’t seen them, he might’ve chosen to feel rejected, hurt, and pouty. It’s easy to feel a twinge of regret or even become hurt and annoyed because an oblivious person didn’t even notice that kind thing we just did.
Often, people are kind to us but we don’t even notice. Too often we’re busy getting it all done and we just don’t notice the ‘beautiful flowers’ others are offering us.
We notice the slights and rudeness of others, but we’re often unaware of the many kindnesses that surround us every day.
What ‘beautiful flowers’ were you given today that you overlooked?
Lord, forgive me for not noticing the many gifts of kindness that You and others give me daily. Help me to have a thankful heart and to see and accept the kindness of others.