Are we willing to look around ourselves, regardless of personal circumstances, and love another human being on purpose?
I came across this story yesterday. As I re-read it, so many years later, I thought I would share it again.
Although this occurred years ago, it reminds me of His goodness imprinted throughout my life – in big ways and small. And if His goodness imprints throughout my life in these ways, I know that His goodness imprints throughout your life, too.
I have thought more deeply about God’s kisses as I write this preamble. I recognise something I have always known. The kisses that I so often write about, the acts of His kindness that flow towards my being, and that flow out from my being, are indeed the kisses that He kisses with His mouth as found in Song of Songs (see Song of Songs 1:2). They carry forth the breath of God.
That may seem obvious. Of course, His kiss is a kiss from His mouth.
He kisses us with the kisses of His mouth in so many ways. In each way, if we will become more aware, more present to Him in that moment, there will be an invitation each time to breathe Him in. And yes, I understand we breathe Him in all the time – but what He longs for (I believe) is our being present to Him. He is always present to us, so will we turn to see?
He kisses us in moments of worship, in moments of solitude as we are still (Psalm 46:10), in moments of reading His word, in moments of prayer, etc. He kisses us in so many individual moments of what most of us would primarily identify as Christian activities. But, He also kisses us as we go about life. Indeed, He gives fat wet sloppy kisses through people, happenings, coincidences, sights, sounds, tastes, feelings, thoughts, fragrances and knowings etc. It’s just being aware and alert to the possibility of these moments, stopping and turning to see like Moses in Exodus 3:4 as we go about our day.
So the challenge (as I so often teach) is in recognising His hand (or His kiss) in those moments that we find ourselves in – as we go about our day, as well as in those moments of quietness with Him.
If we will recognise the moments and turn to face Him, we will catch the breath of intimacy with Father. For, in a kiss, there is an exchange of breath and it is His breath that transforms and brings life. It is His breath that so many of us yearn for. Of course, we are positionally face to face regardless of our awareness of Him, but oh to breathe Him in with intentionality, to turn to taste and see that He is good – now that is heart’s desire fulfilled and overflowing.
The friend in this story is still a friend, and she continues to shine through her acts of kindness. She does not identify as a Christian. Regardless, she resonates with Love. God adores her just as she is, and through her acts of kindness, He loves others – myself included. His creation shines of His goodness regardless of belief systems.
The story is simple, and so it serves as a message for those seeking the grand expressions of God’s love at all times. It’s recognising the little things and celebrating them that makes life so rich with His goodness.
I hope this story will also encourage many to step out with an act of kindness regardless of self situations.
But most of all, I hope it encourages us to better recognise the supposedly insignificant moments of Love expressed towards us by God. There is no striving to receive His acts of love, His kisses. Neither are His actions always grand and sweeping. Indeed, inconsequential moments that speak of Love’s grand devotion towards us are powerful – if we will just stop, turn to see.
This interaction was a brief love letter to me. My friend, through a simple act of kindness, showed God’s love to me, regardless of her own times of turmoil and grief. It is a reminder that we do not need to have it all together to affect those around us as we go. In fact, we can be a mess, and still impact.
My story reads:
Today I was the recipient of a chocolate cake kiss. No, it was not a mucky, wet chocolate cake kiss from my children; but a chocolate cake kiss from a friend, a beautiful friend who intentionally loved me regardless of being in a time of grief and sadness.
A few weeks back, my friend (who has a daughter at my son’s kindergarten) received news that both her parents had died in a car crash. It was a privilege to be available to support her and her family with some practical things. She also allowed me to pray for her and release God’s love and peace for them more than once in a time of great turmoil.
My friend is a beautiful person. She’s kind, caring, honest, compassionate, encouraging and, amid a time of great traumatic grief, she saw me.
I had been struggling with a nasty cold. I was living in a mess from having a recently collapsed ceiling replaced in one of our rooms by plasterers, and fumes pervaded my home left by the painters who followed.
Despite of her own sadness, my friend saw me. She went home after a kindergarten drop off and made me a chocolate cake with her 2-year-old-son. I was dropping her daughter home that day, and when I did, she presented me with a heart -shaped chocolate cake gift, with the words inscribed in icing,
‘… with love xxx.’
It was a chocolate cake kiss of love for my family and I.
Her act of kindness humbled me.
Her act of kindness challenged me.
And so now, I challenge you.
Are we, as Christ’s representatives on Earth, willing to love another on purpose, regardless of what is happening in our own worlds?
Can we see God’s kisses amid challenge, change, and grief?
If we breathe him in as He kisses us, by turning to see His goodness, His kindness, we will have enough to breathe Him out to those around us.
If we will turn to see and breathe Him in during those moments as we go about our day, regardless of what is happening, we will have God’s breath to exhale on another.
I had exhaled His love upon her in a tragic moment weeks before, and in typical God style, He had breathed back upon me through her. I was the recipient of a chocolate cake kiss from God. A kiss given through a girl who was kind, caring and loving, regardless of what was going on in her world.
She sets a standard.
Let’s look to see God’s kisses throughout our day. Celebrate the large and the small. Breathe in His kisses of Love, for on those kisses carry the breath of God. As we breathe Him in, let’s also look beyond to the ones we see before us. See them in their need and offer Him, whether it be an act of loving kindness, a word of encouragement, a smile, a helping hand. For Love (the noun) expresses Himself as a verb, primarily through us, His living love letters – we are His Love in action.
And so, will you follow my friend’s lead and be a kiss of kindness in your sphere of influence?
Let’s breathe Him in, and then breathe Him out, because, in doing so, we become the hands and feet of God in a hurting world. As we do, we and the world will taste and see that…
God is Good!
© Beth Kennedy 2023
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