Wednesday, February 16, 2011

V-Day Compliment

I hope everybody had an enjoyable V-day. Deanne and I went to Target armed with the gift cards we have been generously blessed with by her family on Monday. By the way there are an amazing number of Targets here in California. After we picked out some shorts and swimsuits for our vacation to Hawaii next week we were strolling through the snack aisles browsing for Pop Chips. There was a tall, beautiful, casually dressed black woman about our age scoping out the goodies at the same time. As we were passing by she gave Deanne a quick compliment. She just said, “I love your hair cut.” Deanne said thank you and we walked on.

I was so impressed that she would actually pause her search to share some kindness with total strangers. We wouldn’t have missed it if she didn’t say anything but it was such a pleasant plus to our shopping experience that it got me thinking...wouldn’t it be great if everybody did that sort of thing every day? People have a natural fear of the unknown, especially people they don’t know. Maybe Deanne just looks so cute and cuddly that the young woman decided to take her chances. But regardless of how wonderful my wife is, everybody in the whole world was created in the image of God and has their own unique beauty that reflects their Maker. It is worth complimenting and much, much more. The power of a compliment, a warm gesture or a common courtesy can break down huge barriers of isolation in our culture and make fast friends.

Moments later as we walked towards the check out lines, we saw the kind young lady again and affirmed her kindness. She seemed just as surprised as we were at her gracious words. May you take the opportunity today to pause from your business and surprise someone with praise. Remember, one of our greatest responsibilities is to love our neighbors as ourselves. Be intentional in the small things and true love for total strangers will follow.

Kind words heal and help; cutting words wound and maim.
-Proverbs 15:4 The Message



  1. I've always thought that large cities in particular tend to lack those spontaneous gestures of kindness, because whenever I head just a few hours outside of Toronto, random compliments seem to fall from the sky! But suddenly - literally in this very moment - it occurred to me that perhaps I am just more relaxed when I leave the crazy hustle of my urban centre. Perhaps I smile more, or am just generally more open, and somehow "invite" that seemingly small-town brand of kindness. Perhaps it's not geo-specific at all, and really does originate with me. An exiting thought!

  2. Hey are you guys going to bless us again this year at Auburn Academy's Camp meeting?

  3. @ robinmay*:

    I wanted to respond to you sooner but have been a bit unplugged from blog world.
    I like your thoughts. I think we're made to be in places with lots of nature and stuff. It think it makes us come alive in a way. I think we are more relaxed in smaller towns. It feels safer in a way. But ultimately I think most people will respond to friendliness wherever we are even if it is shocking and surprising to them.

    @ Anonymous:
    I would love to but I don't know