I am teaching a workshop here at our retreat center on Saturday. Initially, I was bringing two other church members with me, but with the issues from last week, I came alone. I don't mind that so much. They gave me the key to the main building, so that if I want to practice the piano tonight, I have access! I have my coffee pot, my computer, and I brought 9 books for research! I think these 2 days will give my soul a chance to catch up with the rest of me. And, I am enjoying not feeling rushed - having a little time to ponder over Sunday's sermon and over Saturday's presentation. I've got a little extra time for extra prayers for Sunday's small group work, and it is just a gift to not feel rushed.
When I arrived in the little town today, I stopped for lunch. As I was leaving, it was blowing snow and the the wind was wicked. There was a woman walking who asked if I was going in her direction. I wasn't. But, as I drove to the retreat center, I felt bad about leaving her out in the cold, so I turned around and went back and picked her up. Turns out that she usually rides a bike, but she had an accident a couple of weeks ago. She was on her way to the pharmacy and grocery store, and she planned to catch a bus home. I would like to report that our car ride was a spiritual high, but it really wasn't.
It was just a ride. But, you know, sometimes, that is all we are supposed to offer - just a ride, with no other expectations. Somehow, I do believe that little acts of kindness (whether we automatically do them or have to make ourselves turn around for a do-over), make a difference in the world. I do believe that little acts of kindness stands proud next to acts of meanness. I do believe that we are called to bear fruit - and if we can't give little old ladies a ride on a cold day, what good are we?
Kindness is a practice. It is something that I have to be very intentional about. That's why I like coming to this retreat center. It feeds my Spirit. It makes me think about things like kindness and spiritual stuff. It slows me down.