On a sunny Thursday I am multitasking (Savoring my cup of coffee, chatting with another friend online, formatting and proof-reading an article) when a friend calls me.
Without allowing my "Hello” sine wave to transmit to the nearest mast. She immediately proceeds
“Are you busy?…”
Just like the first time, before I could even let out the answer talk-less of it being transmitted, she immediately continues
“Because I want to go visit the orphanage and mark my birthday with the children at the orphanage. So I would really appreciate the support of my friends.”
The mere fact that I had forgotten her birthday gives me no ticket out of this one. So in a mundane manner (only perceived by myself I hope) I answer “Oh sure! Happy birthday!” while forging excitement. She says great, thanks me, gives me the time, and the line goes dead.
For a second, fueled by her rude approach I had several thoughts bouncing in my head. The thought of going to the orphanage to celebrate a birthday felt so cliche to me. As soon as the thought came in I quickly dismiss it while posing questions to myself - Is being kind and doing good considered cliche? What good have I done for others today? When last did I pray for the abducted Nigerian girls? When last did I pray for the orphans? When last did they even cross my though? When last did I actually go out of my way to be kind to someone?
An honest assessment of those questions yielded both encouraging and disappointing results with the scale tipping largely to the latter.
Truth be told, kindness and doing good should never be considered cliche no matter how small, popular, unoriginal or whatnot it is. We should never get tired of doing good and being kind to others. We should never miss an opportunity to go out of our way to help others. Most times it just doesn’t take much from us - just a simple smile, just a friendly hello, just a listening ear, just being generally kind.
Jesus in Matthew 25:35-40 talks a whole lot about helping others.
"For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me. ’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you? ’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me”
If not for anything else, the fact that you are giving Jesus water to drink…. try wrapping your mind around the magnitude of that.
For people who may think doing good gets older can become cliche-ish Hebrew 13:16 (ESV)
"Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God"
And of course How could I leave out the passage found in Philippians 2:4 (ESV)
"Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others"
To complete my story, We went for the birthday at the orphanage. The kids like always brought smiles to our faces, at the same time my heart broke when I thought of what they must sometimes feel. They accepted the gifts we went with, and prayed for us. The fierceness of the prayer kind of shocked me, bright children. We ate cake, and one of the people that came to visit shared a word with them telling them “Jesus loves you all more than any earthly father or mother and he will NEVER NEVER leave or forsake you."
As you can tell this was another emotional and spiritual outing which a lot of us were long overdue for.
On a final note, Indulge me for a bit, ask yourself those questions and then some. Done? Great! What was your result of this self evaluation? Do you need to up your doing good game? Do you need to show more kindness to others? Or do you consider kindness a cliche?