Kindness . . .

Whenever there is a box on our doorstep, it is usually addressed to Miss Emma Showalter or Miss Henley Showalter – and the box is typically from my mom.  Or it is something that someone has told me would be coming my way.

There was a box on my doorstep today.

Addressed to me.

And I never could have expected to find what I found inside.

Beautifully folded inside this box was a lavender shawl – obviously hand knit – and absolutely cozy.  This friend had even gone so far to put a scented dryer sheet in with it so that when I opened the box, the scent calmed me immediately.  I wrapped the beautifully knit-cozy-calming shawl around my shoulders and read the letter attached.

You have been very much on my heart and in my prayers during these days. I wanted to send you a little something to remind you of God’s love and presence with you – while you wait for surgery, while you go through treatment, when you feel alone.

The shawl in this box was created by a dear Christian lady in the tiny town of Ohiowa, Nebraska.  Jenene was sick all the time because she had heart failure but she wanted to share hope with others.  During long seasons inside she learned to knit and pray.  As her pastor I was entrusted with bearing the shawls to all who were sick.  This shawl was the last she gave me and each stitch is created with prayers for peace, comfort and healing.

I pray that when you wrap up in the shawl you will have a tangible reminder that you are surrounded by prayers, that God is with you and that you will know you are never alone.

Love and Prayers,


I am sitting outside on this beautiful evening with this shawl wrapped around me.  And I must say, it is as though I can feel the prayers of this stranger, Jenene.  And I am overwhelmed with the love of a dear friend from days long ago.  Pollyanna is a friend from college who has on several occasions, when I have least expected it, blessed my life with her thoughtfulness and kindness.

And I’m reminded of the way in which God loves us.  It is not a loud and flashy kind of love.  And it is not a silent love.  It is love that wraps around us giving comfort in the middle of pain, peace in the middle of chaos.  It is the kind of love that goes out of its way.  The kind of love that didn’t have to do that.  The kind of love that knows simple kindnesses speak louder than anything else.

And I’m challenged to not let opportunities to show kindness slip by.  To just write that note and send it.  To take them that little gift.  To bake those cookies.  To stop what I’m doing and listen.  I’m challenged to not be embarrassed or shy to be extravagant in my love for others . . . challenged to not be embarrassed or shy when I can’t be extravagant, but can show my love simply and meaningfully.

I hope that you have an opportunity sometime this week to act on that tugging at your heart to do something kind for someone.  To wrap someone up in the love of God.

Pollyanna, I am grateful for you.  You are loved.


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